For many Christ followers, few things are more irritating than the way the world has “messed up” Christmas.
There are at least three distinct ways that many Christians are irritated by Christmas these days. Here’s what I believe they are, and how I believe we should respond.
Irritation #1: The Way the World MISPREPRESENTS the Sacred in Christmas
Sometimes the world tries to incorporate elements of our faith into their observance of Christmas, and often they just don’t get it.
Think It’s a Wonderful Life. So, are we to believe that part of the Christmas narrative is that angels need to perform good deeds in order to earn their wings? And when they succeed a bell rings? On a Christmas tree?
For many Christ followers this is exceedingly irritating.
Irritation #2: The Way the World HIJACKS the Sacred in Christmas
This irritation is typically found in the world’s commercialization of Christmas.
The other day I was listening to a radio commercial for a local muffler shop. They were pitching their “Annual Christmas Muffler Sale”, and the background music for their commercial was O Holy Night.
Again, for many a most irritating trend.
Irritation #3: The Way the World INGORES the Sacred in Christmas
Oooooh, this one really gets under the skin of many Christians.
First, “Christmas” became “X-Mas”…Then our nativity scenes started disappearing from city parks and town halls. Then “Merry Christmas” became “Happy Holidays”.
Where will the madness end?
How Christians have responded thus far.
Increasingly, Christians are responding to these irritations with angry letters to the editors, by jamming the phone lines on local talk radio shows and by threatening to boycott places of business who don’t say “Merry Christmas”.
May I suggest an alternative?
How should we respond?
Instead of protesting against culture, learn to engage the culture.
Look, even though our culture has indeed messed up much of the “holy” in Christmas, this is one of the rare times in the year that we’re all singing the same songs. We’re attending the same neighbourhood and office parties.
Never compromise on what we believe, but seize this wonderful season as an opportunity to engage the world in real, meaningful conversation about the true hope that Christmas represents.
Who knows? We may even turn a few “Happy Holidays” back into “Merry Christmases”!
How to you engage the culture during Christmas?