Musings From a Clay Pot: Why I Will Not Join the Fight to Keep Christ in Christmas
Originally posted in 2011. reposted in 2013:
The fact that I’m not jumping on the “Keep Christ in Christmas” bandwagon probably shocks those of you who think I’m a religious nut that loves Jesus. It’s precisely because I’m NOT religious (I’ll plead the fifth on the nut part) and DO love Jesus that I refuse to join the sometimes ugly battle of Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays.
My goal is to be be an all-year-round, Christ-in-me kinda person so that others will want to know Him the way that I do. Once they know Him, they can’t help but say Merry Christmas. All year long.
It’s impossible to bully someone into loving the Lord.
Or saying Merry Christmas.
Jesus NEVER witnessed that way. He merely went about being Himself, speaking truth and repentance and performing miracles… and that drew people to Him. He is definitely about celebrations…the old Testament is replete with mandated festivals and celebrations from God Himself. Christians SHOULD be joy filled people. Instead, many (not all!) Christians tend to look EXACTLY like a lot of non-believing people celebrating this time of year….gluttonous, frazzled, often grumpy, self-centered shoppers, except they want to tack on a “Merry Christmas” banner to justify it. At least the Happy Holiday folks aren’t using Christ as their excuse.
Wanna keep Christ in Christmas? How about letting Him live through you? How about focusing on GIVING – especially to the less fortunate – rather than receiving? In fact, how about doing it in secret? “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4
(Here’s a challenge: ask yourself, would you still be in a celebrate Christ mode if you didn’t receive a single gift? And answer yourself honestly!)
Wanna keep Christ in Christmas? How about forgiving someone who has wronged you? How about loving unconditionally?
Wanna keep Christ in Christmas? How about being tenderhearted and compassionate, especially to those frazzled clerks who say Happy Holidays?
Wanna keep Christ in Christmas? How about being a living lesson rather than mouthing the words? How about teaching your kids – through your actions and not just your words – that it’s not about material things but about the One who gave Himself for us, that we might know the fullness of joy?
Wanna keep Christ in Christmas? How about asking HIM what that looks like?
The truth is, there are many unbelievers who have more of the giving-not-receiving, gentle and loving attitude than believers. It shouldn’t be so.
Don’t misunderstand me. I love the Christmas season; sitting in a darkened room with just the Christmas lights blinking and Silent Night playing in the background. I love the excitement of my kids, even though they know we don’t do much in the way of Christmas shopping. I love Parade of Lights and hot cocoa and Christmas cookies and receiving cards and family updates in the mail.
I love that it is the one time of year my kids will tolerate county music.
I love the tradition the HH and I have of drinking eggnog and cuddling after the kids go bed on Christmas Eve (though it’s getting more challenging to stay up later than them every year!) I love watching the old classic Christmas movies.
I love Christmas.
But I also recognize that unbelievers love the season too. That’s fine with me.
Sure, my cards will all say Merry Christmas. And no, I won’t ever greet someone with Happy Holidays. But I’m also not going to fight those who choose differently. It’s their choice. Jesus said “whosoever will.” I will continue to share of my great love for the One who loved me, sacrificed everything for me, and forgave me, in hopes that one day they, too, will want to say Merry CHRISTmas! How about you?
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Shining the light of Christ every day is far better than displaying Christmas lights on your house or tree for a brief season.
Grateful for this Wonderful Life,
Marie with a 🙂
PS: I don’t post comments that people send me but I do occasionally quote from them (with permission) especially when they challenge or improve my thoughts. Anthony did just that – improved my thoughts – when he wrote the following about a recent post (the bold is how he expounded on what I wrote.)
I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your blog post from the 28th.
“Jesus told us we must become like children. Sadly, we tend to become childISH in our faith – pouting, crying or stomping our feet when things don’t go our way – rather than childLIKE – totally recognizing and delighting in our Daddy.” -A Miniature Clay Pot
That’s a very profound statement that many Christians would like to pretend isn’t true. Our society has slowly centered itself around ‘instant gratification’ and I believe that is the very reason why we as modern Christians sometimes have such a hard time understand the ways of God. God’s timing is not our timing and that is so frustrating sometimes. To me childLIKE faith is not only recognizing and delighting in God but also fully trusting in His timing and execution. –Anthony R
So true, Anthony!! Thanks for sharing.
I love it.
Thanks for your insights on this, Marie–we can’t force anyone to love and worship the Lord Jesus. We can pray for them, love them in words and actions, and trust the Spirit to do the work in their hearts!
I always appreciate your posts, especially when they point me to Scripture and remind me of God’s grace and forgiveness. I’m so thankful we’re email/bloggin’ friends.
Can’t wait to read the doozy that may be coming!
Blessed Advent journey —
Hey Marie! It’s been a while since we sat in Advanced Training together, but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this blog post…and many of your other ones! Hope you guys are doing well!
I know it’s not Christmas, but I am loving your blog~!!! After reading your amazing testimony about the shooting in the theater yesterday, I started looking at other parts of your blog. I just clicked on this one for no reason. I LOVE IT~!!! I agree with your thoughts. It’s about JESUS and His love for people. He never forces Himself on anyone. You are right….. it’s WHOSOEVER WILL~!!! Thank you dear friend for sharing your wonderful, biblical thoughts. I will keep reading and praising God for using you to help me see some of these “issues of the moment” a little clearer. Loving you because you are my sister in Christ…. even though we’ve never met.
All because of HIS wonderful grace,
Perfect. I don’t want to bully people into including Christ in Christmas – but I do want to focus on Him, suggest that He is worth looking at. But your blog gives me a salutory reminder of ways to do just that. May I re-blog this?
I absolutely agree with you that as a Christian, my focus should be on Him During Christmas and EVERY DAY 🙂 (And if it truly is, then I will avoid the stress and depression that strikes many during this season. ) Of course you may reblog. Do you have any traditions that help you to focus on Jesus during the Christmas season?
Attending a Carol Service – and going to church during the Advent (as during the rest of the year) – trying to escape the madness and commercialism that envelopes lots of people including myself when I let it. Focusing on giving rather than receiving (trying … sometimes failing!), am looking forward to helping at a Street Church that a bunch of local churches help run for homeless people in the nearby town. Trying to find the moments to remember what it is all really about.
Child like trust is just that, as small child stands on a chair and days Daddy catch me. Knowing he will and jumps. And both are blessed the one who trusts and the one in whom we trust. He delights in our trust, just try it.
Good stuff, Marie. You have a knack for cutting to the heart of an issue, and then articulating it in a very thoughtful and approachable way. Thanks for this reminder!
Exactly! Love this! 🙂
Reblogged this on Walking the talk and commented: