Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas is for ALL God's Children

There was a rather scathing letter to the editor in our newspaper this week from a woman who decided she needed to scold society for their lack of focus on what Christmas is really all about. She was really upset at anyone who puts up their decorations early and stores that begin their holiday sales prior to Thanksgiving. Somewhere in the middle of her tirade she lost me, a fellow Christian. I mean, I do understand. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. There would be no Christmas had he not been born. Her message is correct but her method of delivery could use some polishing. She states that anyone who does not celebrate Christmas the proper way are greedy, pleasure-seeking hypocrites who do not deserve time off with their families for Christmas. "Christmas is only for Christians" she states. I’m not sure what she wants everyone else to do.

She was upset at the lack of reverence for the Christmas season. Well I have news for her. There is lack of reverence for Jesus all year round, not just at Christmas. There is lack of reverence within our own Catholic church, but not by all. It’s wonderful to try and spread the good news but when you resort to name-calling and disrespect then your message is going to fall on deaf ears. It’s best to lead by example and do it with charity. I am not offended, as the writer claimed I should be as a Christian, when someone says “Happy Holidays” to me. Why in the world would I be upset when someone is wishing me well? Do I wish that everyone knew Jesus? Sure I do. But I don’t hate those who choose to not see what I see. What right do I have to give up on them when God will never stop searching for his lost sheep?

Yes Christians are under attack, but they have been since the time of Christ. Thankfully Jesus chose those non-Christian hypocrites to spend time with. Where would we be if He had told the Apostles to only minister to the baptized followers instead of seeking out the Gentiles, the sinners and the hard-hearted?
As for me, I have embraced the Christmas season already this year. I am completely ok with seeing lights and decorations. The stores are full of color and the excitement is building. I refuse to let anyone put a damper on a time of year that is full of wonder and awe for children and adults alike. For some this is the one time of year they get to see their loved ones. Maybe they won’t go to church. Maybe they aren’t walking with Jesus right now. But they are still God’s children. He still loves them. He is a patient Father. And God is at work in their lives through the love they share with one another. He chooses to bless them even when they can’t hear him. For me the anticipation of Christmas must mirror, in a small way, the excitement that Mary and Joseph must have experienced at this point in her pregnancy. The birth of our Savior was still weeks away but she knew what was coming. She knew a miracle had occurred just by the fact that she was pregnant and a virgin.

It’s easy to look at the Christmas holidays as over-commercialized, secularized and exploited. It’s all of that but not limited to it. God does not want us to walk around angry and bitter at a time when we should be celebrating. As Christians we are called to show love, compassion, and understanding. He never promised it was going to be easy. In fact he assured us it would be hard.

God Bless


Amy S. said...

I totally agree with you Julie!
She makes a point, we do need to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, but she does not need to be rude about it, that's not the way to get through to people. Speaking of God's love and compassion and yearning for you to come to him often attracts people alot more than reprimands and angry remarks.

When people tell me Happy Holidays, I do not get offended either. I just respond with "A Merry Christmas to you too". :)

Post a Comment