The H Word

I said a dirty word yesterday. I didn’t mean to, it just kind of spilled out. I felt immediate remorse and looked around to make sure no one heard me, but I’m sure someone did. I imagine them discussing it today over coffee with friends. I see them shaking their heads in disappointment and saying things like “what’s this world coming to when a preacher talks like that?” The word was the H word. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the word that no Christian is allowed to say, especially around this time of the year. I’ll print it here but only so I can tell my story. The word is “holiday.”

It all happened rather innocently. I walked into a store yesterday to do some shopping and the cheery clerk said “Happy Holidays!” Before I knew what had happened I’d repeated the offensive greeting and said “Happy Holidays to you as well.” I immediately realized my mistake but it was too late. I scanned the store to make sure there were no other believers present. I feared that some Christian might turn red-faced and accuse me of caving to the culture and taking “Christ” out of Christmas.

I hope by now you’re reading a little bit of sarcasm in the above lines (OK, maybe a lot of sarcasm). Since when did the word “holidays” become so bad? Why are Christians calling into radio talk shows and decrying the “war against Christmas?” And while I’m asking questions, who started this “war?” Our culture or overly-sensitive believers? Of course, if you’re offended by the word holiday then you’re probably being offended by me now. I apologize. I really do appreciate your desire to stand up for your beliefs. I’m just not sure that the “war on Christmas” is a war we need to be fighting. We do need to live out our beliefs and be unashamed of our faith, but that doesn’t involve forcing everyone to celebrate the things we celebrate or use the language we use.

If we want to make Christ the focus of Christmas (which I do) then I there’s a better way to do it then suing governments over nativity displays and ranting about catalogs and commercials. The way to do it is simply by living it. If you want to put a nativity display in your front yard then do it. If you want to say “merry Christmas” then do it. If you want to tell people that “Jesus is the reason for the season” then do it. But don’t insist that everyone do the same. Jesus didn’t enter the first Christmas with shouts and demands that all the world celebrate. He entered it quietly and unobtrusively. Only a handful of people knew the story. And as the years went on those few told a few more, and those few told a few more, and so on. The story of Christmas wasn’t spread through force or protest. It was spread person to person and story to story. So tell the story and let God handle the rest.

4 thoughts on “The H Word

  1. Russ, you said "Jesus didn't enter the first Christmas with shouts and demands that all the world celebrate. He entered it quietly and unobtrusively"My question is this,Has there ever been any proof that this is the day when Christ was born? I have no problems saying "Merry Christmas" to anyone. I don't say it because it is the day Christ was born but because it is the name given to the holiday.As for the statement "Jesus is the reason for the season" that is not a true statement. If anything Jesus is the reason for every season, not just this one. I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GnxBSaiUnns/Sx6j9ZkMvKI/AAAAAAAAAb4/fGBoFUSKOO4/s1600-h/A+Preacher+with+Wings–I%27m+A+Christian,+But+I+Don%27t+Celebrate+Christmas.jpgPlease understand my view on this matter. I truly have no problems with the phrase "Merry Christmas." What I do have a problem with is teaching something as Biblical doctrine which is never found in the Bible. I would love to hear your comments as to why "Jesus is the reason for the season" and how you can be sure that Christmas is something that started the year Jesus was born. Is there a passage in the Bible that informs us that in the 60+ years of History recorded after the birth that even once there was a celebration for His birth?

  2. Russ–I can relate. A few days ago I sent a "Group Email" regarding an event coming up in the next few weeks. I was cyber-reprimanded because I used the word "Xmas" in stead of "Christmas"!!! I was in a hurry and trying to abbreviate for the sake of others reading the email and myself…oh brother! The responder told me that he NEVER EVER liked it when others took Christ out of Christmas..oh well..Juli

  3. I have no problem celebrating Jesus and his birth during this time and don't think others should either. I don't teach or say that he was born on Christmas but celebrate it all the same.Romans 14:5-6 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

  4. Juli,A word on Xmas. From my understanding this abbreviation goes back several centuries and the "X" stands for Christ. It's an abbreviation of the Greek spelling of the word "Xristos." So you weren't taking Christ out of Christmas!!

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