Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Meanderings

I never cease to be amazed at how many people are more concerned that they be told "Merry Christmas" by the consumer-driving and money-crazy retail world than they are about the people in their own town who are hungry and need to be fed. How about spreading some "Merry Christmas"? How about living the Christ of Christmas?

Frankly, it's not the retail-world's job to tell us "Merry Christmas"!

It's my job to speak "Merry Christmas" to the retail world. It's my job, as part of the church universal, to show what Merry Christmas is and Who it's about to the world and not just retailers. It's my job to not support their hijacking of Merry Christmas.

The retail world is doing what they're supposed to do: make money and find ways to make more money, which means, find ways to make more and more of us part with more and more of our cash and credit. Merry Christmas everyone! It is NOT their appointed task to offer Christmas as the church does! It's not their job to "put Christ in Christmas"! And when they do say "Christmas" as opposed to "Holidays," it's not their job to define "Christmas" like the church does!

We need to get over that type of "he said, she said" mess and get about the business of being the church who shows what a Merry Christmas is all about.

Too bad too many of us have been hijacked and are buying into the retail world's definition. Too bad too many of us are already making plans to buy into the culture's way of spending Christmas day this year and will not be spending it honoring the One they want retailers to proclaim with "Merry Christmas"!

This year, 2011, Christmas Day falls on Sunday and you know what? Already there are churches that plan to shut their doors and not have services and Christians who already plan not to be at church because...drum roll please..it's CHRISTMAS!!!!

Go figure!!! And while you're figuring quit complaining about the business world not wishing you Merry Christmas. Congratulations, those not going to church because it's Christmas Day.  You will have bowed, yet again, to culture.

Guess what? It will be Christmas Day all day long! Guess what? That family that you must spend "time" with and ooo and ahhhh over Santa Claus with will be quietly observing that the Santa of Christmas is more important to you than the Christ of Christmas.

Do you honestly think Jesus will understand that you need to be in the kitchen or under the tree instead of worshiping? Do you really think the presents under the tree are more important than the present of God in Christ?

Somehow, the wise men have been traditionally worked into our Nativity sets though the Bible doesn't work them into the story until Jesus is toddling in a house around two years of age. They didn't bring their presents to Jesus until he was two. The shepherds, brought their presence to the manger for the Baby Jesus and they brought all they had to bring. The sheep weren't theirs'. Owners of sheep had hired hands, shepherds, to tend the sheep and shepherds were dirty, lowly men who lived hard and worked harder. These weren't nice, clean-shaven, polite men that bowed that first night. But they bowed with all they had to bow with and that was merely themselves. And it was good enough.

Mary, a very young woman, so young that we today would call her a child since she was only around 12 or 13 probably, was of lowly birth herself. God used a woman to partner with Him to house Himself while they partnered to build the Temple that would one day be destroyed but be raised again three days later. A lowly woman was elevated to unheard of heights and today "woman" is still, in many places, not worthy to preach God's Word. Go figure! But that's "man's" world and not God's.

God doesn't stop with mere words. God backs those words up with action. Mighty, world changing and transforming action.

Isn't it about time that those of us who call ourselves "Christian" did the same?

Christ is in Christmas. Culture defines "Christmas" one way and can spell it and say it anyway they like. We don't have to support it or buy into it and when we do, WE are the ones who "take" Christ out of Christmas. The culture and businesses aren't going to "put" Him back either. That's OUR job and we do it by being more concerned about the Christ of Christmas and celebrating His way.

Christ for the world we sing. The world to Christ we bring.

That's the way it goes and is supposed to be. The other way around just messes things up.

Celebrate the True Christ of Christmas and not the retail knock-off.

I'll be looking for you

Gratefully.