Once again, as happens in every year, Christians are engaged in a nonsensical culture war over the way people greet each other around this season and I REALLY DON'T CARE. Too many Christians, get all militant in their insisting that people should “keep Christ in Christmas.” But why should they? The world doesn’t keep Christ in their everyday lives. Most people don't allow Him in any part of their lives; they don’t even know Him. In fact God’s Word tells us that they hate Him. Why would we even want them to feign honor or even pretend to acknowledge Him on Christmas Day? Besides, God would not be pleased with or honored by their phony lip service anyway.
And to what end do we keep beating that drum? Is it for the purpose of our "witness?” Do we really think that people might get saved if they would just recognize that “Jesus is the reason for the season?” That doesn’t work. That is not evangelism. It’s not about a baby in a manger surrounded by shepherds, wise men, and a little drummer boy. True, biblical evangelism must go beyond the manger where “Mary had a little Lamb.” Legitimate evangelism must point to the second line of the nursery rhyme – “It’s fleece was white as snow.” That’s the reason He came. That’s the gospel that has the power to change lives. The birth of Jesus is meaningless, powerless, and irrelevant without a perfect, spotless sacrifice. It was His sinless life and His sacrificial death on the cross that paid the penalty for our sin.
We get our feathers all ruffled when someone wishes us a “happy holiday.” We even tend to get a little testier when someone writes the dirty little four letter word, “Xmas.”
Last year my pastor cautioned us to be careful of words we use, especially around this season, because “words mean things.” The question he asked is, “Do you know what ‘Merry Christmas’ means?” Or more importantly, “Do you even care?”
So what does Merry Christmas really mean? The word “Christmas” is literally the Christ Mass or the annual, unbiblical and unholy Roman Catholic celebration of the death of Christ over and over again. In it, participants partake of two elements (bread and wine) which they believe turns into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus. Parenthetically, Catholics believe that every time they partake of the elements, they are “receiving Christ” but I digress.
Biblical communion observations are periodic reminders that Jesus gave Himself for a sacrifice and shed His blood for the remission of our sin. In contrast, the Christ Mass is a celebration of the death of Jesus where His body is sacrificed and His blood is shed anew each year. And, as my pastor so clearly noted, there was nothing merry” about Christ’s sacrifice. In fact it was brutal, awful, horrific, and sad (Isaiah 53). Furthermore, it is not perpetual. It was “once for all” and never to be repeated (Hebrews 10:11-14).
What about that substitute word, “Xmas?” The symbol X is the Greek letter “chi” and has been used by real Christians, throughout church history, for the word “Christ,” In fact, the symbol of the fish was adopted by the early church to identify Christians because they used the Greek word for fish as an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” The symbol X in that acronym, represented the word, “Christ.” So, as I have said before, any Christians who object to the use of X in Xmas, should remove all the fish symbols from their bumpers and business cards just to avoid hypocrisy. By contrast, Christians should be happy when unbelievers use the term Xmas because it, in a literary sense, really does keep Christ in Christmas.
Do you resent when people wish you “Happy Holidays?” The word holiday is contracted from the words “holy day” and the biblical meaning of “holy” is akin to the word, “sanctified,” which means to separate from the profane (ordinary) or set apart for a special use. Certainly most thinking Christians would agree that we “set apart” a day to observe the birth of our Savior and treat it as special or holy. And it really is a happy time for Christians to enjoy the fellowship of family, friends, and believers as we remember that He came to us in wrapped in human flesh. So I can’t imagine why anyone would object to the use of the phrase, “Happy Holiday.” In fact, given all the options, Happy Holiday might just be the most accurate and appropriate greeting for Christians during this holiday season.
So, for my Christian friends, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a HAPPY HOLIDAY.