War on Christmas

You are standing in line waiting to checkout, your shopping cart is full of various things, toys, chocolate, video games, a nice sweater, a few stocking stuffers, and rolls of wrapping paper. You finally finished up your Christmas shopping. As you place your items on the conveyor belt you make small talk as the employee scans your items and promptly places them in a plastic bag. Finally, you pay, and you grab your bags and the employee smiles at you and says, “Happy Holidays!” You hesitate for a moment processing what you just heard. Swallowing your offense and rage you smile back and say, “Merry Christmas!” Mission accomplished. You saved Christmas once again. 

The War on Christmas is not a new phenomenon. It seems to come up every year in various ways. There are of course grocery store employees who are tasked to generically wish departing customers with a non-threatening “Happy Holidays” to avoid offending anyone who might celebrate differently. There was the Starbucks coffee cup fiasco. There is the classic “Xmas” debate, where Christ is seemingly removed from Christmas and replaced with the 24th letter of the alphabet. There is of course, a more nefarious war on Christmas driven by corporations who have successfully commercialized the birth of our Lord to swing a nice hefty profit as they bend their knee to the Clause. 

All these attempts are met with opposition of course. Facebook posts demanding everyone to “keep Christ in Christmas.” Campaigns to ban Starbucks cups, or boycotts from ever purchasing coffee from their establishments. Buttons passed out by churches with a gentle reminder that read, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” There is an apparent war on Christmas, and someone must defend it. So out of an obscure perception of self-importance, us good Christians are up to the task. We will save Christmas. We will not let a pagan culture snatch Christmas away and replace it with consumerism and greed. We will not let Santa Clause win. Yet, it is our own manufactured self-importance that distorts Christmas. There is no war on Christmas. Instead, Christmas declares war on us. 

Christmas is the assailant, but it is not coming to conquer us, it is coming to save us. Christmas has declared war on sin, death, and the devil and it is coming with legions of angels in command, and the Christ Child at the helm. Christmas might look beautiful, quaint, and as charming as Mary, Joseph, shepherd, and wisemen gathered around that little baby Jesus in a manger filled with perfectly laid hay. But this is an invasion. God breaks into His creation that has rebelled, disobeyed, and fought against Him. He does not leave it up to the people that bear His image to save themselves, instead he launches a full-fledged assault to save them before they are dead. God relentlessly attacks and will not let up until his work is accomplished. Nothing, absolutely nothing will stop Him. Not Starbucks, not keyboard warriors, not high school grocery store employees, and certainly not some Santa Clause who demands. Instead, God chases after you. He seeks you out. And although you are running away from him, He comes to you.

So, do not worry dear Christians, about Christmas. Christmas will be just fine by itself. God will continue to pursue you regardless of what corporate and secular America try to do. So, return the friendly “Happy Holidays” with a smile and a nod, drink that Starbucks coffee if you so wish, buy presents for those you love, and if you must, set cookies and milk out for Santa (feel free to skip this one though), for God is coming, God has come in the flesh in Christ. No one can stop Him, not you, not sin, not death, not the devil, so fear not. Christmas does not need saving, you do. And so, He does, and He will not fail, and He will not be stopped. Rejoice in Christmas, in salvation, in God’s victory, that you are forgiven, and that you are saved.