Last year was a tough year for “Merry Christmas.” It seemed like every corner store was banning the dangerous phrase from being spoken by employees. Instead, a “Happy Holiday” was wished upon us.
There is a HUGE difference between being merry and being happy. Merry people are busy saving the world by making sure that everyone acts like Jesus, even if they don’t know Jesus from Alice Cooper. The merry mission is to strongarm the entire world into behaving as if they already know Jesus. This comes at the expense of His reputation, but for merry people it is well worth it.
The new front line of battle last year became a simple phrase: Merry Christmas. If you don’t acknowledge Christ on Christmas, then you are in big trouble, pal. But the tables were turned this year. In almost every retail establishment I’ve been to, there is somebody saying the magic words, “Merry Christmas!” It gives me goosebumps, or should I say, a chill. With each Christmas salutation, I wonder if it was Christian peer pressure that forced them to do it!
Christendom has temporarily won the Merry Christmas battle, but we seperate ourselves further from the world and from Christ when we insist that the world act like Him without ever knowing him. It brings double damage to His cause: Not only are people given an inaccurate picture of what God is doing in the world, but they also are repelled by the people who represent Him.
God’s invitation is to a messy manger, in a messy stable, to worship a Savior who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Can we find a way to invite people to such a scene without asking them to first clean up their act?