Christmas time is a strange season for our society. Britain and Europe are becoming increasingly secular and anti-Christian. It is public policy to marginalise the Christian faith and push it into the realm of the private and the personal. And yet Christmas flourishes! Or does it really? The shops certainly know it’s Christmas – and with good reason. But this has little to do with God.
The retail message replaces the Christmas message and money is the reason for the season. Local Councils in London want to have it both ways. Many frown upon and even “ban’ Christmas by removing all “Christian content’ from the “Festive Season’. This is, so they say, not to offend those from other faiths. But these same Councils are thrilled with the extra cash Christmas brings into their borough.
“Keep Christ out of Christmas!’
There are strong moves afoot to take Christ out of Christmas. The argument goes like this: Society has changed. Very few “go to church’ anymore. But Christmas is good (for business). So let’s enjoy it as a (pagan) Festival and let the “few remaining’ Christians keep the religious element to themselves. This way people can enjoy the partying, the family get-togethers, the drinking, and the indulgence – and not even think about the One in whose name and honour all this is supposed to be about. The truth is Christ now has very little to do with the public face of Christmas. For the Church to celebrate the birth of Christ is natural and right. For individual believers it is a real opportunity for celebration, worship and personal renewal. The holiday season is a welcome break from ordinary routine and a great time for friends and family. But would it be a great loss if the public presentation of Christmas was removed?
There are those who would like to remove the “Christian element’ totally from the “winter festive season’. They would replace all Christian festivals with their own. The revival of paganism today would certainly mean a return to pre-Christian pagan winter and spring festivals. That way the commercialism and paganisation of Christmas would be complete. But for us all this is far removed from the reality of our faith. We do celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ. But we also celebrate His life, His death on the cross, His resurrection, His ascension and His coming again. We don’t keep Him in the cradle, but see Him as the Mature Man of Heaven. We refuse to let our image of Him be limited to the sight of a little child – harmless, meek and mild.
Jesus Christ is Lord of all we see!
Jesus Christ is the Lord – the Lord of all. And His lordship extends to the High Street retailers, the pornographers of Christmas and the idolatry of the pleasure-seekers. His lordship lays claim to all we see and no amount of marginalisation can change that!