"put the Christ in X-Mas"

well....you can guess that this post is about making "Jesus the reason for the season."
it's about "putting the Christ back in Christmas"
it's about "advent conspiracies"
it's about the "war on Christmas"

honestly...what is Christmas about?  what do you tell people?  is it about Jesus being born?  is it about presents and trees and lights and Santa?  is it about family and friends?  what is Christmas?  honestly.

i recently thought about my own family's traditions.  my family is openly and unashamedly Christian.  we go to church regularly and talk about faith with one another.  however, in practice, our Christmas celebration is more about family than it is about Jesus.  it is an excuse to eat food, play cards, and exchange gifts.  yes, Jesus is important; after all, we're Christians, but our practice says otherwise.  

is family more important than Jesus for most church-goers?  look at our practices, our language, our church programs, our church attendance.  is it about Christian community; the body of Christ; growth; discipleship; evangelism?  or, has church become another agency or educational institution for the betterment of the American family?  

i reflected on the end of Mark 3 recently and was shocked.  Jesus' family thought he was crazy.  they thought he was "out of this mind."  others thought he was possessed.  what does Jesus say to this?  "who are my mother and my brothers?  those who do the will of God are my family."  blunt.  to the point.  my brothers and sisters in Christ take precedent over my blood relatives.  [check out Derek Webb's song "King and a Kingdom" for some great lyrics on this issue]

what is Christmas about?  why do we spend it with family?  why don't we celebrate with our bros and sis in Christ?  maybe you do.  that's awesome!  why don't more churches have worship on Christmas day?  i remember two or three years ago when churches actually closed doors on Sunday, Dec 25.  wow.  seriously?  has blood trumped our unity in Christ?

so.  honestly.  what is Christmas about for you?  how do you practice Christmas?

1 comment:

Country Parson said...

Each year I give my little talk about how we Christians tried to take over the Roman holiday but never quite made it. So now here we are, 2000 years later, with one foot kneeling at the manger and the other enjoying all the pagan symbols and practices. Maybe it can be both - deeply worshipful and giving thanks to God for the joy of the secular celebration.