We’ve all heard the arguments—about how we need to “keep Christ in Christmas,” and about how others are waging a war on Christmas because they don’t put Santa on their coffee cups, or they say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, or something like that. So, I thought I’d write to you this month about what it might really mean to “keep Christ in Christmas.” We can find these answers in the Christmas story itself!
Christ is the God who speaks and lives through the humble. Mary was a poor unwed teenager, who gave birth in a barn. Still, this was God’s means of coming into our human lives. God planned to use the humble, and those without power, right from the start. God values those who know they need God.
Christ is the God who values the alien. The Wise Men stood out. They were clearly foreigners, and everyone knew it. They dressed different, they looked different, they talked different, they may have even smelled different. Still, they were the ones who most deeply understood who the baby Jesus really was. They were wise beyond all the people who ‘should have known’ Jesus.
Christ is the God who loves the poor. The Shepherds were one of the poorer groups in society, and by leaving their sheep alone on the hillside, they put those sheep, and their own meager livelihood, at tremendous risk. Still, they risked all because God spoke to them, and they knew the power of hope. They knew there was more to life than what they were seeing, and they rejoiced!
Finally, Christ is the God who calls us, those who call ourselves “Christ-ians,” to do all these things as well: To live humbly. To welcome the foreigner. To love the poor. THIS is what it means to keep Christ in Christmas—to live what Jesus lived and taught. When we live like that, we will receive the greatest Christmas gift there is: The Peace the Angels promised!
Keeping the Prince of Peace in Christmas,