It has begun - the annual sending of emails and petitions by those upset that the words Merry Christmas aren’t used in December advertising.
The birth of Christ is a shattering pronouncement from the throne of heaven that we are all foes, enemies, of God and totally incapable of changing our status. The “world”, by definition, is unbelieving. That’s why we are here – to represent the Savior to them.
Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. I John 3:13
What do you expect?
We are offended that corporations are not using the phrase “Merry Christmas” in the advertising they generate to lure us into their stores in an effort to acquire our money while we accumulate more stuff – none of which has anything at all to do with God’s grace and truth personified in His Son. The world isn’t celebrating the Word made flesh among us – they are celebrating consumerism. They are behaving according to their nature. And we’re in a twist because they aren’t slapping “Merry Christmas” on top of this?
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if the dropping of Merry Christmas by those corporations who have done so isn’t the work of God Himself to remove any association of what is precious and holy from our gluttony of materialism?
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols. I John 5:19-21
Sometimes I wonder if we haven’t made idols of our “rights”. It takes an awful lot of time and energy (and an enormous focus on self) to be so vigilant in making sure somebody out there hasn’t done something at which we can take offense. Be assured, there will always be something – we’re in the world. Why do we marvel? Maybe the question isn’t, “How can I make them stop doing that to me?” but rather, “How can the work of the cross be presented in this situation?”
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. I John 5:4
There are legitimate stands to take and battles from which we must not back down. There are stores I will not shop in because I think their advertising is soft porn and, frankly, I hope they don’t have a Merry Christmas sign in the window next to that garbage.
I’m not forwarding emails or signing petitions. Here’s what I am going to do this December while shopping: Look every store employee in the eye, smile and say, “Merry Christmas. God bless you.” They will know us by our love.