The Entanglement of the Times
It’s the time of the year when the “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” debate rises like a star in the East.
Christians defend their conviction, affirming the true reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Other religions and non-religious people assert the diversity of the festivities and want their belief or unbelief to receive an equal portion of mention in the celebrations. After all, there are approximately 29 other key religious dates recognised by seven other religions over a period of six weeks, Christmas being just one of them, somewhere in the middle.
And all the while, the capitalist retail industry gloats as oodles of cash (and in some instances plastic money, not real money) gets spent by one and all, regardless of their precepts.
Other religions regard the Christian’s attempts at keeping Christ in Christmas as a vain assertion that their beliefs are the Truth, while Christians themselves feel that their attempts are in vain as more and more people concede and accept the “Happy Holidays” substitute.
A fundamental fact that adds even more discord is that Jesus Christ was not born on 25 December. His real birthdate is unknown.
Due to this technicality, there are some Christians who do not celebrate Christmas. Others say that it has been commercialized, and the true significance of celebrating the Saviour’s birth has been lost, so they withdraw into a holy huddle and wait for the day to pass.
The sharing of gifts is a tradition passed on from the three kings or three wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus as He lay in the manger.
The Christmas tree with all its tinsel and baubles bears no relevance to the Christian commemoration whatsoever. The closest symbolism may be the star or the angel that adorns the top because, on that very first Christmas, there was a star that lead the wise men to the manger, and a host of angels appeared in the sky.
Christmas festivities have become an entanglement of Christian and non-Christian symbolism.
The true essence of Hope, Peace, and Joy seem to have been swallowed up by the tinsel, the carnal desire to overindulge, and the disputes about whose holiday it is.
I wonder what God thinks when He watches us:
• The Christians who choose not to celebrate.
• The Christians who are caught up in the covetous need for material things.
• The unbeliever who enjoys the holiday, the gifts, and the food, regardless of the “who and why” behind it all.
• The other religions or non-believers who shout louder every year, “It’s not about Christ. It’s not Christmas. It’s Xmas. The ones who choose to remove the Man who is central to the celebrations and rather introduce a wishy-washy, neutral celebration that will not offend or convict anyone.
I imagine that in heaven, God says to His Son, “Does it hurt you to see the way that your birth has been distorted? Does it distress you to see how the Day has divided men into so many opposing factions?”
And Jesus says, “Father, man will always find something to squabble about. We knew that would happen when we created him to have the freedom to reason and to choose. Their debate about my birth does not concern me. I care more that they get the facts straight about my death and resurrection. Therein lies their eternal hope.”