I made your blood boil with the title above, didn’t I? I can hear you now…. “Happy Holidays – what is that?” This is the time of year for: Christmas carols, gifts, charity, good will…. and fighting THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS! Apparently the term “Christmas” offends some because “Christ” is in it. So society has opted for the more benign “Happy Holidays.” Oh, but “Happy Holidays” is not for all of us! Many are bound and determined to force that cashier to say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays.” Many will not rest until all of the major retail stores surrender this war on Christmas and repent of their ban on the season’s greeting, “Merry Christmas.” It is to this well armed soldier that I would like to offer a few thoughts before you enter that fierce battle-field during this Christmas season.
The “Genesis” of Holiday
The word “holiday” of the infamous “Happy Holidays” is an old English word that was derived from the words: holy and day. Most of us understand the word “day” so let’s move to “holy.” The word holy actually means “set apart.” When you hear that “God is holy” this means He is “set apart” from sin. Moreover, if you go to the search engine on your favorite Bible app and punch in the phrase “holy day” – it will uncover numerous Bible passages where the words “holy and day” are used. For example, after God created the physical universe, he blessed the seventh “day” and made it “holy.” It was a “holiday” or “holy day.” This day was a special day set apart from the rest. Throughout the Old Testament we see prophets of God and priests declaring certain days to be “holy days.” God even declared certain times of year to be “set apart” for festivals, celebrations or times of worship for His people. And interestingly enough these events pointed forward like a gigantic flashing road sign – strait to Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate on the “holy day” we now call Christmas. These holidays were pointing toward something much better that was coming! Oh and one more thing…. the word “Christmas” is not found in the Bible.
To Those Offended by Christmas
Church…. I agree that it is unfortunate so many retail giants capitulate and ban their employees from saying “Christmas” because it offends some in “the world.” But is it really our role to correct conduct in the world? I would submit that we in the Body of Christ have one obligation to the world. Our responsibility is to introduce people of the world to Jesus. Introduce them to the incredible, unconditional, forgiving, accepting, life-changing love of Jesus, that’s our role – period! You can do this by showing them the love of Christ in your actions and attitudes, by setting yourself apart from the values of the world or you could do it by telling them about Jesus and what He has done in your life. If you do convince your cashier to say “Christmas” instead of “Holiday” what have you really done? Have you expanded the Kingdom of God or have you wiped the outside of a mug giving it a clean appearance – leaving the inside filthy?
Permission to Speak
Now, if your church family bans the use of “Christ” in “Christmas” then by all means correct away. Within the Body of Christ we are to correct, rebuke (in love), build up and sharpen. But until that happens, consider taking the unintended “Holy Day” blessing with a gracious smile – and look for opportunities to introduce the world the center of your Christmas celebration – JESUS!
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 NASB