I saw a post on Facebook about a mother and daughter who got into a physical altercation because of a Christmas present. The comments that followed led me to write these comments.
What I’m about to say will may be surprising, and I’m sure it will offend some people. Here it goes…..
There is only a war on Christmas because Christians are not able to admit that the atheists are right.
I always use objects when available to help explain a spiritual truth. I believe that if I can use a common, every day, item to help remind children, and adults, about God, then they will begin to see God in their lives all around them. The object is just that, an object, a tool to be used to draw people to God. Jesus used objects, earthly things, to teach spiritual lessons. We call those parables and I love to use parables (object lessons).
This time of year, Christmas, there are symbols and objects all around us that can be used to draw us close to Jesus. Object lessons abound from the candy cane, to candles/lights, trees, cookies, and the list goes on and on. But what happens when these objects become idols?
You may have seen the images posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media websites. You may have seen bumper stickers, posters and heard people declare that we must keep Christ in Christmas. As some people complain about the term Xmas, others began to feel the need to justify and speak proudly that Xmas is acceptable because “X” is the first letter of Greek for the name Christ (reference 1 / reference 2 – Snopes).
I understand the sentiment that in the United States, about how Christianity is beginning to lose some of its status and favor. How in the U.S., Christians are beginning to feel a very small bit of the persecution that is felt in other countries, but have we blown this out of proportion?
Let’s look at it from a new angle. God commands us:
I recently posted on question on FaceBook asking people how they would explain the Christmas spirit. Several different people responded with different answers. Most dealing with an attitude of selflessness and love.
I do remember a time decades ago when I was overcome by the Christmas Spirit, but I have to admit, that I have not had the “Christmas Spirit” for several years. This year I sensed the Christmas Spirit more than I have in a long time and I think I know why. As I pondered the Christmas Spirit this season, this is how I would describe the “Christmas Spirit”.
Gifts left for a family on Christmas Eve, sharing the Christmas Spirit
Let me shock some people and say that it has “nothing” to do with the birth of Jesus. It is an overwhelming, inexplicable joy that embraces you and all of the symbols, songs, TV specials, etc give you a warm feeling inside. Nothing can get you down and you see warmth and happiness everywhere. When you say “Merry Christmas”, it isn’t making a religious statement, but it is sharing the love and warmth of the season. Giving gifts, sending Christmas cards and the like becomes an outpouring of that love and not an obligation.
So why doesn’t everyone experience this Christmas spirit? Here are some things that I think are Christmas spirit “killers”:
- Schedule – People can get busy, over-scheduled so that Christmas is just another busy day. Even serving in a church, planning the various Christmas services and programs can rob one of the Christmas Spirit. Having Christmas last more than just the one day helps people embrace the Christmas Spirit.
- Finances – The holidays puts pressure on people to give gifts, especially to children. When finances are tight, or non-existent, to purchase gifts, people are unable to show love to others in that way and robs them of the spirit as they feel inadequate.
- Relationships – especially if you’ve lost a loved one around the holidays. All types of relationship changes can be Christmas Spirit killers. Divorce, separation, a disagreement with another family member, and more which makes the holidays different than others as you spend them alone, missing time with family.
- The “War” on Christmas – When we spend too much time declaring the need to keep Christ in Christmas that we forget that it is a time to share His love to others.
Ultimately, I think the Christmas Spirit comes from the Holy Spirit as it gives us hope for the future, which was fulfilled by the child born in a manger. Also as it shows us how we should really love one another.
So how about you? How would you define “Christmas Spirit”?What are some other Christmas Spirit “killers” and when was the last time you truly had the “Christmas Spirit”?