Happy Holidays to those who really don’t know what to celebrate or why they celebrate! Happy Run-Up-Your-Debt Day! Or Happy Festivus! Happy Happy! Whatever floats your boat as they say.
Unless you want to go back to pre-Catholic Church days, it’s simply Christmas. Yes, for those of you scholars who think you’re going to school me, save your brain cells and voice waves. I know, as millions of others Christians do, that Christ was NOT born in the dead of winter. We got it. Thanks. Jesus was probably born closer to the end of summer based on the shepherds still in the fields and the animals still grazing. Yes, the Catholic Church moved the celebration of Christ’s birth, as they did with other events, to line up with a “pagan holiday,” not because they wanted to be like pagans, but because they were trying to draw more people in.
My mother was born in Italy at a time when records were not well kept; for years, celebrated her birthday on June 15th. She eventually found out her birthday was June 6th, not the 15th. Oh my, what do we do now? Was she not born? Is she not real? Was her whole life a fake? NO!
Even if you don’t believe that Jesus is Lord, nearly every religion acknowledges Him as a real person and as a prophet or, at a minimum, a very righteous and good man who went about spreading the love.
Christmas is CHRISTmas. Yes, the fat man in the red suit worked his way in. The tree worked its way in. The green man, Mr. Grinch (one of my favorites!) worked his way in. Traditions have come and gone, but the One, who remains now and always, is Jesus. He’s not a tradition. He is real. He was born and gave His life for all of us–that’s why it’s CHRISTmas.
As I predicted last year, a school district recently removed the Luke Bible verse from its ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ play. It was only a matter of time. Let’s look at that nasty scripture they had to pull out!
Luke 2:8-14 from the New International Version (NIV)
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Terrible, just terrible! How dare the school fill the heads of young people with love and peace! The Jews of the day and others were waiting for a savior, a person coming from God to bring them out of the land of Egypt. If you don’t believe in God or the Bible, then this is simply a great story of hope!
You tell your kids fairy tales all the time…the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and that’s all good, right? You tell them about witches, werewolves, and vampires, and it’s all good, right? But a supposed “fairy tale” about God sending His Son to rescue mankind from his sin is just too terrible! How dare He push “Peace on earth goodwill towards men” on us?
With all the nasties going on in the world, people are looking for answers; people want peace and hope, and you have a problem with this story?
WOW! Better we should tell a new “holiday” fairy tale about how the government is the answer to all our woes, like how Mr. Obama will save us from all the ills of the world and keep us from freezing or melting to death? Like how he will save us from educational or medical debt? Like the fairy tale that the only real extremists are Christians and other religions, but there is no such thing as Muslim extremists?
Yes, you can buy all that horsepucky BUT… a real God, sending his real Son to give us hope and love is impossible to swallow?
I’ve got some bad news for the nay-sayers. A large majority, over 72%, of Americans, still believe in God. Even those who don’t believe in God, recognize Christ as a real person who spread love and joy and still feel celebrating Christmas in honor of His life is a GOOD thing. ‘Happy Holidays,’ though a nice gesture, is not the same as ‘Merry Christmas!’
For a brief period, yes, CHRISTMAStime, more people are employed, families take the time to come together and, as painful as it sometimes is, work to enjoy each other’s company.
And even the atheist, non-CHRISTmas believer takes advantage of this time. They usually get the day off with pay or work it at double time and a half. Even the government takes the CHRISTmas break off (so much for separation of church and state; where is that in the Constitution again?).
And for those of us who understand the meaning of the season, we got the best gift of all. Yup, Jesus! The ultimate gift was given to us. And HE really is the reason for and why we have the season.
So whether you believe or not, whether you prefer ‘Happy Holidays’ or not, I’ve got the column today, and you will receive a ‘Merry Christmas’ and a SAFE and PROSPEROUS New Year from my family to yours!