The Common Good

What Do We Mean By 'Putting Christ Back in Christmas'?

Brace yourselves. The calendar has turned over to December, which means that the inevitable discussion on the War on Christmas will soon see its opening salvo for 2013.   

Details of stained glass window depicting baby Jesus at Christmas. Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock

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It is inevitable. There will be an outrage by a prominent figure about how we have lost our moral fabric because as someone was buying gifts with money they dont have to impress people that they dont always like, the cashier will commit the unthinkable sin of wishing us a Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.

There will be gnashing of teeth as a town or city somewhere will have a Holiday Parade rather than a Christmas Parade, as Tulsa had done several years ago. (The parade was subsequently boycotted by one of its senators.)

The chorus of those who would profess to be Christians will shout that the Political Correctness Police have overstepped yet another boundary and that we should not take the Christ out of Christmas” as the batch of perceived slights against Christendom freshly reveal themselves for this holiday season. 

As a person who would say that Jesus is the most important thing in my life, who has devoted my life to the service of Gods Kingdom, and spends all of my waking moments trying be faithful to that devotion, I have to ask: What exactly do we mean by putting the Christ back in Christmas'? 

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we recognize that our fellow humans are just as much beloved children of God as we are, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we recognize that the humility of Christ compelled him to love those who were considered unlovable, serve those who were considered unfit to be served, take on the unwanted task of washing the disciples feet, and bear the punishment that we deserved by willingly accepting the cross, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.   

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we understand that our empty words of proclaiming the gospel without demonstrating Gods love for people through service and social justice is the modern day equivalent of a noisy gong or clanging cymbal, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas. 

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we understand our actions of service and social justice often fall short of the Great Commission because we fail to understand the reason why we serve, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we realize that Christ did not die on the cross and rise so we can fulfill a self-imposed sense of ritualism or obligation by attending weekly services, but rather He wants, demands, and deserves to have our lives serve as living sacrifices, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we abandon our perceived and petty outrages and focus on actual instances of persecution, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we quit focusing on certain words and phrases that are said by our politicians, retailers, and public figures and remember that God is more concerned with our heart, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we encourage our spiritual leaders to be less concerned about the institution of the church and more concerned about the mission of the church, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If by putting Christ back in Christmas you mean we separate the false doctrine of linking monetary success to Gods blessing and remember that in Gods economy the needy are provided for, then lets put the Christ back in Christmas.  

If our plan is to do anything less than this, then the only thing that I have to say is this: Happy Holidays.  

Phillip Larsen is a follower of Christ and a member of West Metro Community Church in Yukon, Okla. He is the author of Suit Up. He also blogs at larsenphillip.wordpress.com.

Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock

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