Last week I wrote a piece about the rampant use of the term “Holiday” in place of Christmas. The piece was generously and surprisingly (to me) re-posted on internet venues which echo the sentiments I wrote. So of course, in preaching to the choir, responses were almost exclusively supportive.
I am devoting this post to share with you one dissenting comment I received, and my thoughts on it. The following was posted by “Anonymous”:
“Christmas is a lot of fun. The kids love it, presents, tree in the house. It’s a good story. But once you get to be an adult you should of [sic] had enough time to seperate [sic] fact from fiction. And people who choose to cast aside the facts and replace them with faith are in my opinion suffering from a sort of enviromentally [sic] induced mental illness. So relax, enjoy the hollidays [sic] and for the sake of the children snap out of it.”
OK, like the mosquito said as he landed on the 400 pound man, “where do I begin?”
First, let me state the obvious right off the bat. Christmas isn’t about “the sake of children”. Christmas is about The Child. It’s about Jesus Christ. Our culture has become so arrogant, so self-centered that we genuinely think everything is about us. Here’s a news flash. It’s not about us! Stop the arrogance that believes the hoax that we are able to change the climate of the world God created. Stop the arrogance that takes God out of the schools while violence, drugs and teenage pregnancies skyrocket. Stop the arrogance that takes God out of our nation’s foundation while the division and turmoil in our government implodes on itself. Stop the arrogance that says that Christmas and Easter are about us.
Next, in typical fashion when someone has no substance upon which to base their opinions, the only method to obtain perceived superiority comes in the form of insulting one’s intelligence or mental stability. In this case, “Anonymous” has opted for the latter. Environmentally induced mental illness? Can anyone venture a guess as to what this means? I have no clue. But, sensibility was not a weapon in this person’s arsenal, so we move on.
I particularly enjoyed the comment about replacing facts with faith. Mr. or Ms. Anonymous didn’t care to back up their claim with any “facts” to debunk the meaning of Christmas, or even one element of Christianity for that matter. I, for one, am thankful for faith. I’m thankful that this life is not the end of it all, but merely the beginning. I can’t imagine the empty and pointless existence it must be for someone who doesn’t believe in something bigger than themselves. But when your world is all about yourself, the idea of living a life of faith and devotion in someone greater than yourself would be rather disconcerting. Faith in an unseen God doesn’t make sense to the “wise” of the world. That’s why it’s called faith. There are going to be a lot of really smart people who will one day bow their knees before God and realize the tragic reality to which their arrogance has destined them.
The “story” of Christmas is not merely a “good story”. The fulfillment of prophecy of the virgin birth of the Messiah is the root of the ultimate of love stories. God, in the form of a baby, left the comfort and perfection of Heaven to come to us as an innocent and vulnerable human baby. His arrival was foretold by prophets. His arrival announced by angels. His beginnings in a humble, smelly stable surrounded by farm animals. This baby was the King of Kings. This baby grew up to endure a horrible death as a sacrifice, an atonement for our sin, once and for all.
What Christmas has become is fun. Absolutely. I love it. However, buried under the rubble of the secularism of what we now know as “Holiday”, is a truth, a “fact” that cannot be wished away by human arrogance. Christmas is wonderful. The music, the cool winter air. The spirit of joy in people. However, all this while ignoring the true meaning of Christmas is like your best friends and family gathering at your place to celebrate your birthday. They mingle only with each other and exchange gifts amongst themselves, while completely ignoring and forgetting about you!
I understand the confusion of Mr. or Ms. Anonymous and their opinion about Christmas being about children. There is something so special and wonderful about the innocence of a child who believes in the magic of Christmas, Santa, flying reindeer and such. Sadly, childlike faith devolves into adult cynicism and arrogance that can only believe what the eye can see. This is why Luke 18:17 says this, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Christmas is about the Christ child. Heaven, is for the children of God.
End of story.