There is a popular saying that you hear this time of year, ‘Keep the Christ in Christmas’. To me, it is just one of those sayings that sounds right. It makes sense and is hard to argue against, like, ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you.’ Truth. So true that we tend to take it for granted and ignore its wisdom. Not just non-Christians, but cross-wearing believers. Most would agree with the philosophy behind the phrase, but for the most part, our actions speak differently – door busters, overt consumption, fairy tales, etc. There may be a lot of reasons for the confusion that surrounds Christmas, but the one that jumps at me recently is how we named this amazing and miraculous occurrence. The incarnation of God, the Almighty Creator of the universe, of all that is seen and unseen, into the person of Jesus Christ – certainly a miracle of mind-bending proportions. (C.S. Lewis likens it to an architect of a house actually becoming a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house – impossible unless you are God.)
I‘m thinking that the most important historical event ever would be referred to with some sort of incredibly descriptive name that immediately strikes a chord in the hearts of anyone that heard it…sort of like Independence Day. You do not need to know anything about our country or its history, but if I told you that today we were celebrating Independence Day you would probably figure out that we must have NOT been independent at one time, and that NOW we are, and that it must be worth celebrating – right?
‘Christmas’ on the other hand requires a little more of an explanation, even when we take the time to consider that ‘Christmas’ is the morphed version of Christ’s Mass. And, once we do understand the season’s true purpose – the commemoration of the birth of The Savior of the World – I still don’t think we get it – like we get New Years Day, Columbus Day, President’s Day (for you youngin’s this used to be two holidays – Lincoln’s B-day and Washington’s B-day), Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
Then, there is a good portion of the population that ‘celebrates’ and acknowledges the holiday and all of its traditions, but not the true purpose. (That’s not too confusing.)
Bottom Line: By abstracting the birthday of the Son of God to a phrase like Christ’s Mass, then Christmas, and then Holiday Season, etc. we water down the event just enough where it is easier to overlook, for the most part, the point of the celebration. What other holidays do we do that to? It seems to me that we still acknowledge most national holidays with an appropriately descriptive moniker – all except for Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and Christmas. Why is that? Again, who benefits from having us focus our attention on the gifting and getting versus the salvation of our eternal soul?
The greatest weapon we can use to battle satan is the knowledge that we are continually under attack in these very subtle and devious ways. So, be aware whenever your faith is put into question and consider who benefits from it.…..and Have a joyful Salvation Day and a Happy New Year!