Question: Do you promise to tell (1) the truth, (2) the whole truth, and (3) nothing but the truth? Answer: (1) Yes, (2) Can’t manage the whole truth in this space, (3) This is a blog, so it is my truthful opinion.
With disclaimers out of the way, I’m continuing my “Happy Holidays” thoughts from last week. This week’s title should not imply that I’m delivering the definitive truth to end all discussion. I’m just offering a little perspective.
I once posted on Facebook: “One easy way to undermine the message of Christmas is for Christians to appear angry and petty in response to “Happy Holidays”. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
To undermine the message of Christmas, appear angry and petty in response to Happy Holidays Click To Tweet
So here are truths to remember as we respond to our crazy culture.
Truth #1 – One usage of the word “holiday” is a day that you don’t go to work—a vacation. “Going on holiday” may not be used much in our part of the world, but if a person has some extra days off, what is wrong with a pleasant wish that they might enjoy them?
On a website that lists “Bizarre and Unique Holidays” that cover every day in the month of December, I found—I promise I am not making these up—National Fritters Day (Dec 2), Wear Brown Shoes Day (Dec 4), Humbug Day (Dec 21), Make Up Your Mind Day (Dec 31). If someone wishes to celebrate these holidays, they may actually need a little extra encouragement (and perhaps a hobby).
Seriously, almost all major world religions have special days in December. As an unapologetic Christ-follower, those are not a part of my own celebration. But I believe that I am more likely to have the opportunity to share what is special and unique about my faith when a person of another perspective sees that I genuinely am interested in a gracious dialogue about matters of faith and truth.
Truth #2 – A “Merry Christmas” sign is no guarantee that a business is focused on Jesus. Some merchants may have figured out that Christians are more likely to shop where they see the magic words in the window. Does that HDTV really celebrate the birth of Jesus of because of where you bought it?
Truth #3 – A “Happy Holidays” sign does not IN ANY WAY hinder my faith. I interpret it in light of my own faith perspective and am grateful for the recognition that this time of year is special. I don’t need a store to share my faith message for me. That’s my job. When I am met with “Happy Holidays”, nothing prevents me from pleasantly responding, “Thank you and Merry Christmas” or even “God bless you.” My opinion is that a faith that is too easily offended is a rather shallow faith.
A faith that is too easily offended is a rather shallow faith. Click To Tweet
Truth #4 – The Jesus whose birth I celebrate is too awesome and wonderful to be contained in slogans. “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “Keep Christ in Christmas” aren’t bad slogans, they are just insufficient to express the glory of the Savior. At His birth, the angels in heaven could not contain their joy. At His crucifixion, death and the grave could not contain Him. Our lives matter so much to God that Heaven could not contain Him. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Next week: Keeping Christmas in Christ.