A common recurring theme at the holiday season is for some Christian groups to bemoan the fact that some places don’t allow their employee’s to say “Merry Christmas” or to picket government building that won’t allow a nativity scene. Some even boycott stores because they aren’t Jesufied enough.
It’s like all of a sudden the Christian fringe comes out to declare to the world that they are the only ones who know anything about this season and it pains them that other religions also celebrate at this time. The irony is that those who celebrate winter solstice don’t seem to mind that Christianity parked their religious holiday right on top of theirs centuries ago. It’s not like Jesus was really born in December.
Still, it is a holiday where nearly all people inevitably bow at some shrine. Churches’ get packed unlike any other time of the year, most hoping to cash in on the holiday in its own sort of “Black Friday”. Malls are at capacity, along with credit cards. Isn’t it a great time to question motives.
The funny thing to me is that even the most dedicated Christmas fans, seem to miss a core aspect of what they claim to be celebrating. How many Christians today actually believe Jesus is the promised messiah of Jewish prophesy? Furthermore, how many actually could articulate what that means? Is it about “baby Jesus” or about what he has accomplished. If you ask them as I have, you’ll discover that most Christians simply say; “Well Christmas is what you make it…its about family… getting together and all that stuff…”
So my question then is how is this any different than the rest of the world? In fact the diversity of expression is amazing when you consider that despite it all, most center the time around family, loving one another, acts of generosity, kindness, and well wishes for a prosperous new year-not just Christians.
Christmas is what you make it. And there should be an open handedness with regard to how others make it. Because chances are, your experience (whether it is Christian or otherwise) is much like everyone else’s. In that sense there is a great opportunity for solidarity with our fellow man. I hope you don’t miss it. To do so is to miss the season entirely.