Christ in Christmas

Years ago, someone wrote into a local newspaper complaining that Christians had tried to put their stamp on a Christmas parade. Why do Christians have to make Christmas about their beliefs?

As ludicrous as it may sound it shows just how far we have fallen as a nation that it's no longer known that Christmas is (or at least used to be) a Christian celebration. Hollywood, Hallmark, and commercialism have managed to turn it into a happy holiday and if anyone remembers its origins it's along the same lines of the Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus story.

I've often wondered why someone who denies Jesus Christ would still choose to celebrate Christmas, but for years as a nation we've been taking Christ out of Christmas and making it just another holiday. Worse, we've imbued the season with messages of peace, joy and love, without stopping to consider or acknowledge the One who gives and brings those gifts. And as Christians, we've gone along for the ride.

Last year I was troubled by a comment I read on social media that had a grain of truth in it - just enough to make it dangerous and to blind people to the deception. It went something along the lines of this: if we show love to others, work for peace, forgive others, care for the needy, then we're keeping Christ in Christmas even if we don't mention His Name because it's implied in the other things that we do.

It contains some truth, enough to make it sound appealing, enough to make us think that it must be true, but it is an incredibly deceptive lie designed to lead people astray: a ploy to throw Christ out of Christmas and replace Him with something else. Peace. Love. Good Works.

There is nothing wrong with those things in and of themselves. We all seek love. We all want peace. We are called to do good works.

But without Christ we end up with only poor imitations of true love and peace. Without Christ, good works are just, well, works. They do not show Christ to the world.

Yes, Christ came to being us peace. Yes, He came because of love. But He came. And the reason He came was to bring salvation to a fallen world.

The babe in the manger must never be separated from the Son of God stretched out on the cross, dying for our sins.

That is the true meaning of Christmas and we must not throw it out for a more politically correct message that will not go one step towards turning mankind's hearts towards God.