Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays on Christmas.

       Tis the season. I wish that I could have written this blog much earlier but better late than never. Here we are again in Christmas season. A time of the year famous for buying presents, dreaming of Santa Claus, singing songs about reindeer and snowmen, attending seasonal plays and concerts, and for some of us a constant reminder. While growing up as a child during this time of the year I was always reminded by my pastor during one of his sermons that Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ not Santa Claus. I was reminded that the world often works hard at driving the away the true meaning of Christmas while filling one's mind with a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with Christmas or Christ and we as a church have to be aware of it. Christians cannot fall into the trap of allowing ourselves to forget about celebrating Jesus Christ on His birthday. And yes I am well aware that December 25 was not Christ's actual birthday but this is the day that the world has chosen to celebrate it. I have volunteered to continue my former pastor's tradition by posting a blog reminding my readers to not forget to celebrate and place Jesus first during this time of year.
       Happy Holidays! Happy Holidays! That is a constant phrase one hears during this time of the year. Seasons Greetings is an older but less popular slogan for this time of the year. Another slogan one often sees is Xmas. By now many of you likely see where I am getting at. Yes Christmas is a time of year meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately the world has turned the day into something else different entirely. What is sad is how just about every company, television commercial, store greeter, refrains from saying "Christmas", instead shouting "Holiday Holidays" or an older, similar version, "Seasons Greetings".  When one constantly hears theses phrases over and over again the person wonders "why can't they just say Christmas?" Why continue to avoid the word as if it is cursed?
       Why not just say Merry Christmas? Looking back twenty to thirty years, the word "Christmas" was repeated much more often by the media and surrounding social circles. One heard and saw "Happy Holidays" occasionally but did not think much of it. During those times the phrase "Happy Holidays" was mentioned less often. The threat to take over the Christmas holiday was less obvious. Now even while listening to a supposed christian radio station hearing the DJs continuously shout "Happy Holidays" makes one wonder whether or not there was some kind of an agreement between members of  popular media, business leaders, and politicians that this is the way Christmas was going to be referred to for now on. It is occurring slowly but steadily just like celebrating gay, non traditional families as normal began slowly with the older production of popular tv shows like "The Odd Couple", "Three's Company", and "My Two Dads". See, the devil never makes it obvious. Satan is much smarter than that. He always starts out slowly with something that on the outside appears very innocent but is not exactly what God stated in the Bible as the way it SHOULD be. Just like "Happy Holidays", many people see the phrase as innocent but don't see that the world and its media slipping away from the day being the celebration of Christ, instead making it a day celebrating Santa Claus, Rudolph, and buying presents.
       American companies view Christmas as a day to make great sales as well as their bottom line. This is make it or break it season for many companies. This is the time of the year that many companies depend upon for producing great revenues, making them productive for the entire year. Commercials are created and shown on television, internet, and radio to drive consumers to purchase more and more products. Consumers also annually accumulate much debt during this time of the year trying to satisfy their family, friends, coworkers, and pretty much the world who expects them to deliver, sometimes at a rate well above what they are able to afford. What if these companies gave thanks to God and depended more upon Him to surpass their business quotas? Maybe the holiday season would be less frenetic and stressful. They may find themselves being able to produce more sales without having to force themselves to remain open within the midst of chaos. Remember how God took care of Israel and Judah during the ruling of Solomon and David?They did not have constant sales back then.
      Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Now christian people can take the time and opportunity to explain to those who may not know what the day December 25 is really about, what they can really get out of the day. About a Savior who came down to this lost world to save it from inevitable damnation as well as destruction. A world previously doomed to an everlasting period of no hope. Jesus Christ came and gave hope and life to those willing to receive it.  This is a gift much greater, of much greater use and purpose than what any person can get from a fat, jolly man wearing a red suit. Can anyone else offer someone eternal life? Let's as ourselves this question as we approach Christmas and even afterwards. Let's not allow the media and businesses big or small to dictate to us how we celebrate or refer to this holiday. Let us not be afraid to say Merry Christmas. No, we are not to cool speak it. Shout it out. Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! And to all God bless!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:11-14 NIV