I have been hearing the last few years about the “War on Christmas,” retailers replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays,” atheists insisting to have signs placed beside public Christian holiday displays, the banning of traditional Christmas Carols in schools, etc.
I don’t usually even read email chain forwards, but I received one today that I felt compelled to open. It reminded me of a poignant quote from my pastor: “If we spent half as much time evangelizing as we did trying to legislate morality, we’d see a lot more results.” People don’t usually come to faith in Jesus, or even acknowledge Him by our words, but by our lives and actions.
So that’s why I wanted to post the text of this email. It was originally written as “Letter from Jesus about Christmas,” but I hesitate to ascribe words to Jesus unless they’re in the Bible, so I changed the pronouns a little!
It has come to attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking Christ’s name out of the season. Now, having said that, if it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting Christ’s birth, then just put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all Christ’s followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was Christ who made all trees. You can remember Him anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: He actually spoke of that one in John 15:1-8, explaining who He is, in relation to you, and what each of our tasks was. .
If you want to keep Christ in Christmas, here are some ways:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way Christ’s birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly lonely this time of year.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of Christ’s birth, and why He came to live with us down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that Jesus loves them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary – especially one who takes Christ’s love and Good News to those who have never heard His name.
9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Jesus and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to the Lord, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in His presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of His followers.
What do you think? How do you keep Christ in Christmas?