Where Does Christ Want to Be?
“Put Christ back in Christmas” is sure a popular phrase that I first heard many years ago that has grown more popular ever since. It was really big in the 2004 post election “red-state/blue-state” saga. But regardless, it is really a phrase I’ve been thinking about for a many years now. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, and like me, you’ve probably even already read a few articles on this topic or even listened to a few sermons.
Let me first state, I personally don’t have a problem with the holiday season. It’s always fun getting and giving presents. Well, most of the time anyway. Regardless, as long as we don’t turn the holidays into scripturally mandated “Holy Days” then I’m in favor of the family getting together and eating tremendous amounts of fabulous food followed by a round of delectable desserts. All I’m saying is, that I like the food, the fun, the cheer, and everything that is good and right about the season.
But just think with me real briefly about Christmas. The big uproar in the U.S. about putting “Christ back in Christmas” is from the Pentecostals, Baptists, Mega non-denominational faith-based “we got everything” church for the un-churched, and all of the other sects of the Protestant Movement. Well, why was it called the “Protestant Movement”? Wasn’t it because people were protesting the rule and authority of the Catholic Church? Am I mistaken, or wasn’t it the Catholic Church that originally put Christ into Christmas? So, if the Protestants are protesting the rule and authority of the Catholic church, and the Catholic church arbitrarily instituted that day as a celebration as a way to get people to abandon the pagan religions and come to the Catholic church for something which God, in the scriptures, never authorized (which is what people do every year when they abandon their pagan materialism after reveling in gifts all morning before going to church in the evening) then shouldn’t it be the Protestants advocating to kick Christ out of Christmas? Just another one of life’s little ironies isn’t it?
The traditional “Christmas Holiday” is not a “Christian” holiday. If it were, it would be found in the bible. It is a Roman Catholic holiday. I am not a Roman Catholic, therefore I don’t observe the Roman Catholic holiday of Christmas. What I do honor, every first holy day of the week, is what Christ wants me to, the “Lord’s Supper”. Not eating and drinking associated with revelry, but the solemn memorial of the sacrifice of Christ my King and Savior.
You’ve probably heard the scripture, “But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” (Mt. 15:8&9) And while I’m sure that’s a great verse to use when discussing Christmas, that verse really stems from a more grand point. Looking at the previous verse, and the original text from Isaiah 29:13, the problem really resides in the heart. People want to talk about putting Christ back into Christmas, but Christ would much rather them put their heart back into serving Him. That’s where we are guilty. When we are worshiping out of rote instead of from the heart, it’s vain worship. We can criticize diehard, star-on-top-of-the-tree, manger-on-the-front-lawn Christmas-goers all we want, but until our worship is from the heart, we are just as guilty as they at defying the will of God. Put Christ back into Christmas?! He never asked to be their in the first place. Christ doesn’t want back into Christmas, He wants into people’s hearts, and hopefully He can be found in yours in your worship to Him today. (Ephesians 3:17-20; Colossians 3:16)