Happy Holidays!

How can two little words stir such controversy?

photo credit: reviewjournal.com

 

Who would have ever thought two little words would stir such controversy?  When I was a kid in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the Christmas season at our house was filled with music.  We would put a record (do you remember those) on the stereo (a piece of furniture that happened to play music) and listen to classic Christmas recordings.  One that I remember most is Andy Williams singing “Happy Holidays … while the merry bells keep ringing, happy holidays to you.”

In my childhood innocence I missed the fact that the subversive Mr. Williams was trying to remove the true message of Christmas and usher in a generation of political correctness that would ultimately prevent me from freely practicing my Christian faith.  (That was sarcasm, for anyone who might have missed it).

With my posts each week, I try to encourage you and remind you that your life really does matter to God.  And while I’m not afraid of controversial subjects, I usually don’t deliberately go there.  But some occasions call for special attention.

Which brings me back to “Happy Holidays”.

I am willing to stipulate that political correctness and sensitivity are sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes and that, in some circles, the message of Christ is the least tolerated of all religious perspectives. Notice that I said, “in some circles”.  That is an important perspective for those of us who are Christ-followers.

Which brings me back to “Happy Holidays”.

As an unapologetic Christ-follower, I am disturbed by much of what I hear every year during this season.  What may surprise you is that I am most disturbed by what I hear from the Christian community.  Really?  I think Christ Himself would avoid being put into the kind of Christmas that some petty Christians are espousing.

 

Christ would avoid being put into the kind of Christmas that some petty Christians are espousing. Click To Tweet

 

As an unapologetic Christ-follower, I always want to celebrate the birth of Christ as the true meaning of Christmas.  I also want to be consistent in my commitment to daily (as in all 365 of them) displaying the character of Christ in my words, actions, and attitudes.  Much of what I hear this time of year does not fill my heart with the joy of my Savior or a reaffirmation of the true meaning of Christmas.  It actually fills my heart with grief.

In my years as a pastor, I tried to help people understand that grief is a normal response to any sense of loss.  So what is my sense of loss with this annual “Happy Holidays” controversy?  My sense is that, within a well-intentioned zeal to remember that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of a baby in Bethlehem, we may have lost focus on the reality of Who that baby really is. We have lost a sense of His character, His heart for a broken world, His reputation as One who was accused of being a “friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34).

Our lives really matter to Him, and accurately representing Him really matters to me.

Question:  How can we represent Jesus well in a culture that doesn’t get it?

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, argumentative, off-topic, or just plain unhelpful.