It isn’t politically correct to wish people a Merry Christmas anymore. Striking reality given the fact that Christians stole the date from the pagans. The church fathers decided to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25, not because it was the most likely date of Christ’s birth, but because it was the date of a pagan holiday of idol worship and gift giving.
Now the non Christians want their holiday back. Christians and non Christiansalike have just about succeeded in turning it into a season of stress, overspendingand emptiness. That’s not enough. Some have been in a secret campaign toextinguish Christ from the season at all.
Christians are fighting back. They are threatening to withhold the mighty dollarfrom stores who won’t acknowledge that the evergreen that sells in theseason is a Christmas tree, not a Holiday tree. What is all the fuss about andis it worth it to stand up for Christmas, rather than concede to wishing everyonea Happy Holiday?
The church fathers had in mind a hope to help us focus on the Advent of Christto the earth through His birth in a stable, and the Advent yet to come as a conqueringKing. The season is to begin the fourth Sunday before Christmas, so that we willhave plenty of time to take in the great miracle of Immanuel—God with us.The focus from the beginning was preparation for Christ. As you have experiencedthe Advent season for 2005, think back and consider whether you have truly hada Merry Christmas, or just a Happy Holiday.
It’s important for us to think about our own lives, no matter what ouropinion of companies who refuse to acknowledge Christ. The real question is: Howmuch have you acknowledged Christ this Christmas season? Has it been a MerryChristmas in your heart? Have you taken time to spend with Christ in the midstof all the shopping, decorating, baking, traveling? Have you sat down and reflectedon the wonder of Advent? Have you been thinking about the second Advent—whenChrist returns for us?
When you think about Christ’s advent to the earth you think about love.Christ left heaven to enter this earth as a helpless, tiny babe. How much lovefilled His heart for Him to come to earth, knowing He would be rejected and crucified?He came because of His great love for us, not wishing that any would live ina fallen world forever. As you reflect back on your experiences this season,perhaps there have been some loveless moments. Maybe you got in a fight withyour spouse about how much money you spent. Maybe you grumbled loud enough forothers to hear when someone jumped in line ahead of those who were waiting longer.Those are the things that happen when you are pursuing a Happy Holiday. Yourheart will be filled with love when you are truly focusing on having a MerryChristmas.
On this fourth Sunday before Advent, decide whether you are having a Merry Christmas,or a Happy Holiday.