I’ve noticed my brothers and sisters in Christ getting offended recently at people saying “Happy Holidays.”
“War on Christmas,” I’ve heard it called.
“Trying to remove Christ out of the holiday,” they sneer.
“It’s not a happy holiday, it’s a Holy Day!” (As if it can not be happy and holy at the same time…)
Folks, let me tell you something… Those shepherds were told by the angels that mystical, holy, wondrous night that a Savior had been born for EVERYONE, WORLDWIDE. Christmas is not a holiday just for Christians…just for believers! It is a holiday for EVERYONE! It IS the good news for every person— believer or not! Jesus himself said it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…to put it into this context, Christmas is a holiday for the unbeliever–to let them know that God loves them so very much, He stepped out of heaven and into our hurting world. He eventually died a horrific death on the cross, taking every ounce of our sins, pain, suffering and punishment that IN THIS LIFE and IN THE LIFE TO COME we could have His righteousness as our peace.
If you’re so offended, so easily riled up by a “happy holidays” from the store clerk, you’re probably not going to have any luck with the church invite you have in your hand being well received! I know it sounds foreign to many of us who have been blessed with a relationship to Jesus for most of our lives, but there truly are people in America who have barely a vague idea what the entire holiday’s significance even is. And how, as a follower of Jesus, are we to draw them into this loving relationship with the God who became flesh for their sakes if we are so easily offended?
Those poor shepherds were just watching their flocks, they weren’t expecting a Messiah! And neither is your neighbor, your coworker, or the store manager…until you walk in with joy and love written all over your face. Hope and promise in every step. Then they’ll just have to accept that Christmas invitation to church because they’ll want what you have! And let’s not fret over those few who actually do TRY to squelch the true meaning of Christmas…let’s just overwhelm those around us with enough love to win those God puts directly in our paths to influence. Remember, the enemy will come to kill our joy, to make us afraid, to steal our peace. Don’t give him another minute to ruin the precious gift you have inside of you to share with the world! And then this will be the happiest holiday you’ll ever have!