Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas

"It's a Wonderful Life" may have been replaced by "How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." "Miracle on 34th Street" may have been replaced by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." "Merry Christmas!" may have been replaced by "Happy Holidays!" The mall may have replaced the local church as the favorite gathering place of the season, but . . .

As Christian men and leaders in our families, we have the power to influence and train our children that celebrating Christmas is less dependent on what the world does, and more on how we do it. Just because the media have removed the Christ from Christmas doesn't negate the reason for the season -- Jesus. Just because the manger scene has been removed from some buildings doesn't mean we have to remove it from our houses, our lawns, or our hearts. Just because retail stores have embraced political correctness and view the holiday season as a time for increased revenues, doesn't mean the gifts we exchange are any less meanignful as a small reminder of the great Gift we have all been given. Just because we have people who deny the birth of Christ, doesn't mean He wasn't born.

As Christian men and leaders in our families we need to study the Bible. We need to pray always and share the Good News of a Savior, born of a virgin, who would suffer and die for us. He paid for our sins. He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. Nothing can change that -- not a movie, not a government decree, not a holiday greeting, not a store, not a person. We need to proclaim the Good News to our families -- each and every day.

Men, we need to be the model our children will remember and follow. Our words and actions will be what our children will replicate when they leave our homes. How we live our faith life will speak louder to our children than how we talk about it.

Men, we need to be the man our wives will eagerly follow. We need to step up and lead the family devotions, read the Bible to our spouses, worship with them, pray earnestly for them, and love them -- even as Christ loves the Church.

As Christmas shopping days become fewer, the crowds at the mall loom larger. The more people, the more stress -- the more stress, the less joy -- the less joy, the more anger -- the more anger, the more opportunity for harsh words. Men, it's time for us to smile and offer a hearty "Merry Christmas!" to those who need an encouraging word: the store clerk, the bell-ringer, the mailman, the fast-food, drive-in window clerk, the neighbor, the person next in line, and maybe -- just maybe -- the person who cut you off in traffic. We have an opportunity to brighten a day, to encourage, and to witness this Christmas season.

This Christmas season, let us each share Christ no matter what the world says or does. Christ - and Him alone -- is the reason for the season. Merry CHRISTmas!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what you are saying. That is, Just because the world has systematically taken Christ out of His own season, is no reason for us as Christians to follow the secular leader. In fact that is even more reason why we need to emphasis the “reason for the season”.

But. I guess there’s always a BUT, isn’t there? But, we need to realize that WE are the problem. We always blame society for taking Christ out of Christmas. We blame society for taking the 10 commandments out of the public places. We blame society for all the political correctness that is so evident everywhere these days. But, we need to ask ourselves how did that happen? We may not want to hear the answer.

It seems to me that Muslims are getting special treatment these days because they are demanding special treatment. This is true of other fringe groups and even major minorities. Why is there such a thing as a hate crime? It’s because someone or some group demanded it. After all, how can murder of anyone be anything but a hate crime. But what is the Christian reaction to hate toward Christians? What is the reaction of Christians when we are told we can’t display our 10 commandments in public? What is the Christian reaction when we are told that we can’t say a prayer of thanksgiving in our schools? It’s always, that we want to be fair to others. And we don’t want to be accused of forcing our beliefs on others. Love and peace is our reaction.

As long as we continue that reaction to those who hate us, their side will continue to grow, and our side will continue to shrink. Yes we are to love all of God’s creatures. We are to pray that they will see God’s light, and be saved. But that doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for what’s right. Do you realize that Islam is the largest growing religious group in the US today, and that Christianity is shrinking? Do you have any idea what this country will be like in 20-30 years if it keeps going the way it is now? Some of our airports already have foot washing facilities to cater to Muslim prayer rituals. Any idea what would happen if Christians would ask for bibles to be made available in airport gate areas? If a Christian changes to Islam, we lament and pray for them, and are saddened over their decision. If a Muslim changes to Christianity, they need to fear for their life.

What was Jesus’ reaction to the money changers in the temple? It wasn’t peace and love. He threw them out. We have got to start demanding our rights in this country, while we still have some. We have got to speak out against evil, or evil will soon be in charge, if it isn’t already.