Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Holidays...Season's Greetings...or whatever...

I've been hearing a lot of people discuss or voice an opinion on the various ways to wish someone well during this particular time of year. Christians especially have made a point of saying, "Merry Christmas." Some people have protested stores that don't use the word Christmas, or re-name things (e.g. "holiday trees"), or refuse to use the more generic phrases. The positions on the issue range from indifference, mild concern, to obsession or paranoia ("fight the Christmas grinches"). I can't help but think that the word "Christmas" is not at risk as much as some make it seem.

I've never understood why we (Christians) get so defensive about the way society treats our religious celebrations. I suppose there's the sense that everyone used to be Christian in the U.S. (which was never true I'd propose) - and now it's becoming less the case. But shame on us for forgetting that our democratic society has given us the freedom to truly worship God - rather than the other way around.

Rather than arguing/protesting/speaking out in the secular arena, why not focus on truly celebrating Christmas ourselves? (I think this OpEd article says it well.)

It's a reminder that I need to take time and consider how to truly celebrate Christ's birth this year - and in the future.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
words by Charles Wesley, 1744

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

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