Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sharing the Joy of the Holidays (yes I said Holidays)

It is the Holiday Season! Already we have received numerous catalogs and sale ads that proclaim, "Just in time for the Holidays!"

Along with all of the wishes for "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" come the seasonal complaints from Christians that that are offended by the use of "holiday" instead of Christmas. We'll say things like, "It's not a 'holiday tree' it's a Christmas Tree." We'll protest and boycott stores that have "holiday" sales but feel good about getting a good deal at a "Christmas" sale. I know that I've posted of these things in the past.

This year I want to offer a new alternative to the usual complaints:

How about we just smile and say, "Thank you...and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" We don't have to be smug or condescending. We can (and should) be absolutely sincere in our wish for there happiness and well being. At some point we're going to have to face the fact that WE are the minority--and we shouldn't be surprised. Jesus told us that road to destruction is broad and the way is easy. He also said that the road to life is narrow; the way is hard and few will find it.

How about we just share some love this year? What if we become peace makers and men (and women, of course) of goodwill? What if we bear glad tidings of Good News? I think that we could have a great Christmas Season and maybe help somebody else to have a truly meaningful Christmas, too.

There may even be an opportunity for a quiet moment and private conversation that you can ask somebody, "Why do you celebrate Christmas?"

Don't be surprised if you hear that it's a time for celebrating with family and friends or that it's mostly for the kids or any other reason. You may even run across somebody that celebrates the pagan holidays surrounding the winter solstice.

You can put them on the defensive by telling them that they're wrong and that the real reason for the season is the birth of Jesus or you can just tell them that the reason you celebrate is to recognized that "...God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
You can ask them, "Who is Jesus to you?" Listen to their answer. They are not wrong--you didn't ask them, "Who is Jesus?" You asked them to tell you who Jesus is them.

You can even ask if you can tell them who Jesus you.

I know that not all of my readers are Christians--some don't even believe in God. To all of those that do not celebrate this season as a recognition of the great love that God demonstrated in the little town of Bethlehem (and later on the Cross at Calvary)--I wish you a happy holiday season. I truly wish that you and your loved ones enjoy the time that you have together and the festivities of the season. I also wish you a peaceful and prosperous new year. And it is my prayer that you will come to know the God that loves you and the Savior that died for you.

To my Christian readers and friends--Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Go and tell the story. Tell it in your homes. Tell it in your churches. Tell it to your friends. Tell it to your neighbors. Over and over, tell the story: God loves you...and Jesus died for you!

John <><


Sicilian said...

Great observations John.

Amanda said...

I've been trying hard to tell it to Aaron. All the stories and decorations about flying reindeer, elves and Santa is really making my job a lot harder. This year is the first year I'm teaching him Christmas carols and I've decided to go with all the traditional ones.....

Mike said...

I just try to ignore the crabby prople. It's just something else for them to bitch about.

John said...

Wow, Mike. You're up early today. The time stamp says 10:39 am. Did you go out and get a part time job or something?

Claudia said...

Amen, amen! Jesus taught us that even those of us who can not speak or buy gifts can still express the Gospel through love all year long.