Friday, December 11, 2015


Whatever happened to the Christmases of old when we sang Christmas carols in public places, store clerks wished shoppers “Merry Christmas”, and public schools were not paranoid about putting up Christmas trees. Like many pleasant memories of life, those events have vanished like a wisp of fog blown out to sea by a politically correct windstorm, never to return again. Schools have even banned activities disguised as Christmas. The Christmas colors of green and red are expelled from school.

We are told to celebrate snowflakes, snowmen, reindeers and winter. Thankfully most churches still display Christmas trees (usually indoors), and some even unabashedly set up public Nativity scenes outside of their churches. Unfortunately, there are growing numbers of churches that minimize outside Christmas décor like we are trying to hide Jesus in a corner for fear his display might dampen a potential new adherent.

For believers, this all sounds downright discouraging, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not so much. Christmas decorations have little, if anything, to do with Christmas. But we all like to hold onto them because they remind us of the real reason for the season. Unfortunately, like many times, the things at the edge of life overwhelm what should be the core of life. Over time the central meaning of Christmas becomes diluted or corrupted when we place too much emphasis on decorations.

As believers we need a reality check. There is a war on Christmas and there has always been a war on Christmas. The battle lines were set centuries ago. Not so much over trees and ornaments. Not over green and red colors. It’s because of the Jesus.

In Matthew’s gospel, chapter 2, we have the account of King Herod reacting to the birth of the Christ child. This was the very first war on Christmas. Herod becomes disturbed, thinking the baby Jesus would eventually usurp the King’s political role. We are still fighting similarly motivated battles today against what appears to be unstoppable forces bent on destroying Christianity.

An angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream and says, “Get up, take the child and mother and escape to Egypt … Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

I leave you with this closing thought. The battle belongs to the Lord. With Herod, he chose a different approach to serve a greater purpose. The Lord speaks through Scripture. He uses other people. He may even use an angel.

The key is to listen, test the validity through Scripture, and be obedient. Then choose your battles!

Robert Parlante

December 2015


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