I’m weary of hearing about the “war on Christmas” or people offended that some store clerk said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” as we went into debt to purchase more stuff we can’t afford for people who don’t need it.
It all comes back to this: why are we surprised when lost people act like lost people? Or in this case, why are we surprised that a pagan culture acts pagan?
We live in a culture that is obsessed with entertainment and materialism. Is it any wonder, then, that they would try to grab the Christmas season and run with it in a way that accentuates their own pagan tendencies? It’s not up to pagans to remind us of the real “reason for the season.” It is up to the church to lift high the banner of Christ and to remind others that Christmas matters because of Jesus. That’s not the job of the cashier at WalMart – it’s my job, and yours.
I don’t doubt that political correctness has caused governments and corporations to go overboard in their quest to cleanse Christmas of its religious basis and turn it into a celebration of sentiment and sales. I agree that it is foolish to ban manger scenes and Christmas carols from the public square. But why is it surprising that an increasingly secular culture engages in such foolishness?
Will Willimon has observed, “The culture is giving the church notice that no longer will it do the church’s job. So the courthouse will not tell the church’s story; the church must tell its story. And we must do it better than the government ever could. So instead of complaining that the government will not do our job, let’s seize the opportunity, and do it to the glory of God.”
So this Christmas season, let’s not expect others to tell the story of the baby laid in the manger. Let’s celebrate the privilege we have of sharing that good news – let’s tell it, sing it, and proclaim it wherever we go.
Merry Christmas! Christ is born!