The binding of the UK edition of Star over Bet...This is a modified re-post from last year that seems appropriate again:

I propose that we Christians stop hyperventilating when people say something other than “Merry Christmas.” I’m always sadly amused (if that makes sense) when I see on Facebook, in all-capital letters, stuff like:  PUT CHRIST BACK IN CHRISTMAS!!!!! RESPECT OUR FAITH!!! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!!

I understand that Christians feel threatened by the equal and opposite hyperventilating from those who seek to wipe out every public nativity scene or reference to Christ.

But can anyone really take Christ out of Christmas? Is Christian faith so fragile that all it takes to knock us on our butts is a greeting like “Happy Holidays”? Should we behave the way the “other side” does, all fearful and agitated and snippy? How Christians answer this in their heads says a lot about what’s in (or absent from) their hearts.

Who cares what other people say? If we’re rooted in Christ, a simple holiday wish shouldn’t be our undoing. If you can’t take a generic greeting graciously, how will you ever come to “bless those who curse you, do good to those who mistreat you”? A secure, assured, at-peace spirit is the mark of Christ in you. So if that isn’t there, Christ isn’t there.

Assuming that we take Jesus seriously and genuinely want his kind of class and character, I propose that we wish our non-Christian friends, neighbors, and strangers a heartfelt Merry Christmas, and smile sincerely when they wish us Happy Holidays. Then say, “Thank you.”

What a concept.

 
English: An artificial Christmas tree.

Image via Wikipedia

I stumbled upon this interesting article in Relevant magazine about Christian Christmas traditions that aren’t originally Christian. It sort of follows up my last post. Apparently, we’ve borrowed these pre-Christ traditions and incorporated them into our celebration of Christ.

1. The Christmas tree

2. Mistletoe

3. Gift giving

4. Dec. 25th

5. Redemption

I like the way the article finishes:

We call it Christmas and have named it after our Savior, but let’s not be so arrogant as to suggest the holiday is exclusively ours. A better perspective is to admit we have co-opted the season, along with many of its traditions, for the purpose of pointing toward Bethlehem.

Christmas is the story of the Incarnation—of the insertion of Christ into the dust of humanity, of the infusion of grace into something worldly and pagan. In the process, mankind was redeemed. If so, then our theft of these solstice traditions is no crime against history. Instead, it’s yet another picture—a beautiful, generous, peaceful, evergreen metaphor—of redemption.”

 
The binding of the UK edition of Star over Bet...

I’d like to propose that we Christians quit having hissy-fits when people say something other than “Merry Christmas.” I’m always sadly amused (if that makes sense) when I see on Facebook, in obnoxious all-capital letters, stuff like this:  PUT CHRIST BACK IN CHRISTMAS!!!!! RESPECT OUR FAITH!!! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!!

Good grief, can anyone really take Christ out of Christmas? Is Christian faith so shallow that all it takes to knock us on our butts is a greeting like “Happy Holidays”?

What insecurity! What immaturity! Who cares what other people say? If you’re rooted in Christ, a simple holiday wish isn’t going to be your undoing. If you can’t even take a generic greeting graciously, how on earth will you “bless those who curse you, do good to those who mistreat you”? A secure, quiet, assured spirit is the mark of Christ in you; that’s what love, peace, and joy are. If that isn’t there, Christ isn’t there.

I propose that we wish our non-Christian friends, neighbors, and even perfect strangers Merry Christmas and smile sincerely when they wish us Happy Holidays. In fact, I say we should say, “Thank you.”

What a concept.