Taking Christ out of Christ-mas

“Happy Holidays"—is what many greeting cards read, and most people say in retail stores. Why is it that in the holiday season about God sending Christ ("the anointed one"), so many are afraid to say a word that includes His name? I think it is because most are fearful of the outcome; they are worried they may offend someone by talking about a religious holiday. I don't know about you, but when my Jewish friends say "Happy Hanukkah," I am not offended. It is a Happy Hanukkah. I join my Jewish friends in celebrating liberty from the oppressive Roman rulers. So then why is “Christmas” and the “Christ” of “Christ-mas” taboo?

The answer is simple: Political correctness drives faith out of people. It is okay to believe in change, or have faith in America, but faith in Jesus is not.

The first time the problem of taking “Christ” out of “Christ-mas” became real to me was in fourth grade when a girl in my class shouted out, "I now know how I can remember to spell Christmas, it is just 'Christ' with 'mas' an the end of the word." My teacher replied, "Good job”; all the while I was thinking, "How did you not know that already?" But the girl wasn't dense, it was that she had never been taught the reason why we celebrate. Her Christmas was likely bleak and full of empty tradition because there was no “Christ” in it.

In the shopping mall, I see bags that say "Believe." But without something to "believe" in, the word is empty, and so is the season. Marketers and politicians love to talk about abstract “belief,” but what is the direct object of belief? Where is our belief heading? If it is not towards a belief in something higher than ourselves, at the end of the season, we will be left feeling empty once again. And worst of all, our spirits, the shelters, and the food banks will be left broken and hurting again.

So where is the "Christ" who is at the root of the word "Christmas"? I often hear people tell me that they can’t feel God, or hear Him, and therefore can’t believe anymore. I usually respond with, “Are you open to feeling Him? Do you listen for His voice? If God came to you, would you recognize Him?” For most people, the answer is "no."

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