“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father…” (ESV)
Is there a war on Christmas?
According to some people, there certainly is.
The “war on Christmas” phrase sometimes comes up in news stories or conversations related to what greeting we should use in an increasingly diverse society (“Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”) or whether you call your tree a “Holiday Tree” or a “Christmas Tree.”
But what are people really talking about?
Here’s what I think: The “War on Christmas” is really just a way of talking about the growing tension that sometimes exists in a society where some people celebrate the spiritual nature of Christmas and where others celebrate a more generic winter holiday that is nevertheless rooted in Christian origins and customs.
Today I don’t pretend to explore all the angles. (I did that on Sunday so if you want to hear the full podcast click on the link below.)
But here I just want to emphasize one thing: I think the biggest threat to the celebration of Christmas isn’t how other people celebrate it…
It’s how we celebrate it.
The meaning of Christmas is God personally coming to humanity in Jesus to help and save this fractured world. So my question is this: Do our celebrations of Christmas reflect that fact?
Or do they just go with the flow—with the prevailing consumerism or vague sentimentalities of “love,” “joy” or family?
I think the biggest threat to Christmas isn’t how other people celebrate it. It’s how we celebrate it.
I’m not saying we should throw out the eggnog and mistletoe. I love that stuff! But we can draw to the centre of our celebration the kinds of things that God-in-the-flesh came to tell us to do:
Fear not, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick, fight evil, worship, love, pray.
Maybe in the “War on Christmas” the biggest battle isn’t “out there” somewhere, but within each one of us.
The most faithful way to keep Christ in Christmas is to keep Christ in you.
By Matthew Ruttan
- As mentioned above, I explored the idea of a War on Christmas more fully in my Sunday message at Westminster. I hope the background and suggestions I provided are some help and hope for us as people of faith today. You can check it out here. Enjoy!