Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry? Christmas:

Since this STTA has an editorial flavor, I'm posting it here as well as over at the STTA site.

It has begun.  I speak of course of the annual--at least in recent memory--fight over whether store-clerks and such should say "Merry Christmas," or "Happy Holidays."  And, "Is that evergreen in the park, the one with all the lights on it, a Holiday Tree or a Christmas Tree?" 
There are some inconvenient facts that line up on each side of the argument.
On the side of Merry Christmas:
  • It is the name of the Holiday in question.
  • There is our undeniable heritage as a nation--"Christian" or at the least strongly influenced by Christian thought.
  • Most Christians don't seem to get bent out of shape when Jewish merchants recognize Hanukkah, or Muslims observe the fast of Ramadan.  "Why," we ask, "all the fuss over Christmas?"
On the other side:
  • Though not a majority, a significant element of our population belongs to a non-christian religious group.  
  • A minority of Christians find the 21st Century Christmas celebration offensive and want no part of it.  (I'll leave aside the fact there is a significant group of Christ-followers who observe Christmas in January.)
  • It is the task of the church, not Walmart or the US government to proclaim Christ.  
  • Business people should be free to observe, or not observe, religious based holidays, and we should be free to steer our business to those businesses we choose to patronize.
The middle ground is strewn with, "Yeah, but!"s and ugly accusations.
For the record: I have already started wishing folk "Merry Christmas."  I am seeking to use the holiday as an opportunity for spreading the name of Christ.  I appreciate it when businesses enter into that spirit.  You'll notice, I even donned a Santa hat for the season.
I am, however, going to avoid any Yuletide arm-twisting, and I encourage my Christian brothers and sisters to do the same.  Rather than demanding that Merry Christmasbe on store clerks lips, let's put our energy into living and witnessing so that the Christ of Christmas is more likely to enter their heart and make them truly Merry.
It's STTA.
Find lot's of information about how God stepped into our world to meet needs we cannot meet on our own, here.

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