Drawing the Lines on Christmas

Cal Thomas is the closest to a modern-day, old-style Christian prophet that can be found anywhere in American news pages. His recent column on the kerfuffle over public celebrations of the Christmas holiday is a must-read for every believer. While you don’t have to agree with every conclusion, he makes an excellent point:

The effort by some cable TV hosts and ministers to force commercial establishments into wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas” might be more objectionable to the One who is the reason for the season than the “Happy Holidays” mantra required by some store managers.

I have never understood why so many Christians feel the need to see and hear “Merry Christmas” proclaimed to them at stores by people who may not believe its central message. While TV personalities, junk mail letters and some of the ordained bemoan the increasing secularization of culture; perhaps some teaching might be helpful from the One in whose behalf they claim to speak.

Jesus – the real one, not the Republican-conservative-Democrat-liberal one made in the image of today’s fractured political culture – said His kingdom is not of this world. Why, then, are so many who claim to speak for Him demanding that this earthly kingdom celebrate Him and His Kingdom?

Determining where and how to draw the boundaries among the sacred and secular elements of Christmas is an important task to be undertaken by every follower of Christ. For one, I am still on the journey myself: trying to reconcile Mr. Thomas’s sage admonitions with previous thoughts that I have posted. As I get older (and I’m still not quite 29), the sacred part of Christmas becomes more and more meaningful to me each year. The family-related trappings and meaningful traditions are still quite important. But I have less and less taste for the commercialism, the spending orgies, and the emphasis on Santa & his 8 tiny reindeer. I’m still trying to negotiate these boundaries, and think every believer should take the time to do so thoughtfully as well. Any thoughts?

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