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Sunday, December 14, 2014

CIX. What happens when you take Christ out of Christmas?

Watching television, seeing all the commercials.  Walking at the local Walmart, Kohl's, and Meijer, seeing all the ads and displays.  Listening to the radio and hearing about the "holiday season" and how we should start planning on events.  Each one of these hammered with hints of competition.  And the worse thing, it was two days before Thanksgiving.  Why have we taken such a time of hope and relations of kin and have turned into such a competitive, anti-Christian, free-for-all event?  The word "season" used to mean a special time set aside for making memories and the collectiveness of sharing our lives and dreams together.  But now it just means beat everybody to the punch, in more ways than one.  Somehow, somewhere the true meaning (yes, a cliche) of Christmas has been lost.  No more wishing anyone a heartfelt "Merry Christmas" for fear of offending people.  No more Christmas carolers walking the streets perhaps for the same fear, or because it takes time away from shopping, or maybe even perhaps because no one feels safe in their neighborhoods. Christmas parties at work are now held in bars and after hours instead of taking time to celebrate with each other at work.  Lights on homes have been replaced with overgrown inflatable lawn decorations.  No more down home, silent nights filled with hugs and baking cookies.  Even churches have to put on elaborate plays to try and show the community how "hip" they are to bring people in instead of just sharing the Gospel and being examples of what we should be.  In all of these things one thing is missed.  The word Christ is still there.  But by our actions we would never know it, except atheists (who probably still celebrate it though).

If you take Christ out of Christmas you are left with "mas", the Spanish word for "more".  This is exactly what happens in our lives when we take Christ out of it, or out of anything for that matter..   Yes, this is a play on words but the premise and thought behind the words still remain true.  There are two ways you could look at it. 

  1. When we take Christ out, then at Christmas all people want is mas; more.  They want the best products. They want the most expensive products (at the cheapest price, nevertheless), and they want more products.  All in the name of love; love that is bought or earned.  Throughout the year they could have had these products but choose to wait to fulfill the hole left in their hearts during this time of year.  And that brings us to the second point.
  2. When we take Christ out, then all people can do is want more.  When they finally realize that the gifts that they bought are opened and shunned losing their hype just a few days later they have to start building up their own hype again only to feel the same way one year later. They are left empty in life and wonder why the Christmas season was not as cheery as it should have been.
People have to understand what the season is all about.  It's not about getting the most, or the best, out of life.  It's also not about cookies or carols.  It's about having hope.  It's about love, but not one that is bought with money, but bought by blood.  This celebration is here to remind us that we can't do it on our own.  One was born into this world to give us all we need.  The gifts are extra.

Merry Christmas, with no strings attached, or regrets...

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