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BEBO NORMAN-JOY TO THE WORLD
I have a plan on eradicating the planet of EVERY HEATHEN SOUL. It's not terribly hard at first glance, but it might require changing how you view they way THEY view "the holiday season."
Around this time last year, I used "X-mas" in a status update on Facebook and lost four friends. Am I wrong in thinking that's a pretty trivial thing to end a friendship over??
Here are my reasons for not getting worked up when people don't use the preferred "Christian" words for the season:
1. Most people who use "X-mas" are not trying to "x Christ out of Christmas." Lots of us like to abbreviate lots of things. And the letter X is honestly just fun to say. Feels good rolling off the tongue!
But seriously: for thousands of years, the letter X has been the Greek symbol for Jesus Christ. Go here for proof: http://christine-nyholm.suite101.com/xmas-is-historic-christian-word-for-christmas-a84812
2. Back in the 90's when I was almost done growing up, people who said "Happy Holidays" generally meant to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year in one efficient phrase. Or, for those taking the whole Season of Advent seriously, "Happy Holidays" was a friendly, non-threatening way to say "Happy HOLY Days." Why can't we assume that one of those two options are still what lots of people mean? Why do we have to assume the worst?
3. If anything, Christians put Christ INTO "X-mas." The whole ritual of exchanging gifts and putting up trees is a PAGAN one, around long before somebody decided to tie it into the birth of Jesus. Proof: http://www.essortment.com/christmas-pagan-origins-42543.html.
(In other words, shouldn't the unsaved souls destined for eternal damnation in Hell be complaining that Christians stole THEIR holiday?)
Maybe that's pushing it. Really though, the difference between Christmas/X-mas/Holidays isn't as black and white, pro-God/anti-God as today's polarized culture wants you to believe.
And even if it was, is that really worth getting all hot and bothered about? Christians SHOULD be more hot and bothered that so much of the world, even America, is still in poverty (spiritual and financial). That so many children lack good parents and dependable meals. That our brothers and sisters around the world could face death and imprisonment for even daring to utter words that could be construed as "Christian." Even a phrase like "happy holidays" is over the line on much of our planet. (See what happens if you say "Happy Holidays"or "Merry Xmas" in Iran...)
The next time you're rubbed the wrong way by somebody not respecting CHRISTmas the way you feel it should be respected, try this: Instead of lecturing them, or coming back with a snarky "Merry CHRISTMAS" reply, channel that energy into doing something Jesus would have done: defend the weak, judge NOT, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort those in distress, and....hard as it may be to swallow and do....love your enemy.
Thanks for reading. Have a happy Christmas filled with His grace and peace.