As the season of Advent begins in churches throughout the world, and as we look towards the birthday of Jesus Christ, I have to say that I am very dismayed by the lack of enthusiasm in the secular world for this important event.
From retail outlets blatantly disregarding Christmas as being too “religious” in tone and choosing to use the less offensive “Happy Holidays” in a marketing attempt to lure shoppers into their stores, to newer prime-time cartoon specials that skirt the issue of what the word Christmas really means, there seems to be a real war going on to even include Christ in anything that is mentioned.
Case in point: “Shrek the Halls” aired on Wednesday evening of last week, rife full of DreamWorks Animation toy placements and their own viewpoint on the “true meaning of Christmas”; yet in all of the crude potty jokes and sometimes offbeat humor, nothing was ever mentioned about the only TRUE meaning of this season…the real reason that we celebrate…and that is the birth of Christ the Lord. This eye candy cartoon had all the appearances of a “feel-good” special aimed solely at the secularization of another Christian event; after all, their opinion is that if Christmas is all about spending time with family and friends, that description isn’t all that bad, is it? And all of us love to gather around on Christmas morning and share those moments with our loved ones, right?
Well, yes, we do. Yet the focus shouldn’t be on us; it should be on the One who gave everything He had TO us. You might say the focus in our modern world is a shame, and a travesty, and you would be right on the mark. But it goes much deeper than that, my friends. We’ve seen this degradation happen time and time again in television specials and movies from the past to the present; some good, and some outrageous in their omission of what the first six letters of Christmas spell out…and that is CHRIST. And, like I’ve heard all of my life from an older, and much wiser, generation–it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where, and what, this is ultimately leading to–the slow and painful deletion of God from our society.
Something to think about…in a little over three weeks, it will be December 25th…Christmas…the birthday of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. A special time when over 2,000 years ago, the Savior of our world was born in Bethlehem while shepherds watched over their flocks by night. Angels heralded the coming of Christ with joy, and those who gathered around Him did so in awesome wonder as they witnessed that tiny Babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a lowly manger. An amazing sight…and a humble beginning to a Life that we still celebrate today.
So, as you look forward to this very special and holy day with your family, friends, and loved ones, remember that it’s CHRISTmas…and rejoice and be glad in that wonderful and miraculous birth that truly changed our world.
From my family to yours during this blessed season…Merry Christmas!
(“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is one of many wonderful specials that speaks on the true meaning of Christmas; the Davis household will be watching it again this year, as Richard is a die-hard Snoopy fan. You may reach him at his blog, https://sliceofhome.wordpress.com, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears monthly in the Linn County Leader.)