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Monday, December 14, 2015

Keeping the "Holy" in "Holidays"

Many people over the years have complained about the decline of Christianity in Christian holidays. Others have simply complained that "Christian holidays" is a misnomer and that no such days actually exist with the exception of Sunday, perhaps. And, let's be honest; I've been among those complaining about the decline of "Christ in Christmas" kind of things. (You know, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, all those kinds of things.) But I'm beginning to rethink it.

Consider. Events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ cannot actually be separated from their Christian origins. They can be and obviously are removed somewhat -- quite a lot -- but they cannot be devoid of them. Because, you see, the reminder of "Thanksgiving" means absolutely nothing in a purely secular society, and "Christmas" contains the word "Christ" in it, for pity sake. Just two examples.

Consider. When we gather, typically with family and friends, for these types of events, we do so with at least an unspoken if not an outright religious background. It is not uncommon to gather for "turkey day", for instance, and begin the meal with a prayer because it's Thanksgiving. Even the most hardened atheist will likely sit quietly by while you "do your thing" on Thanksgiving. And at Christmas the themes of Baby Jesus and angels and all are ubiquitous -- they're everywhere. Even rank heathens are singing "Joy to the world, the Lord has come." You can't escape it.

So, here's what I'm proposing. Instead of complaining about the commercialization of Christian-oriented holidays (which are, in fact, not divinely-appointed holy days), how about if we start considering them opportunities? I mean, how often do skeptics and doubters close their mouths long enough to hear the Gospel? But in this case they're standing in "Gospel-rich" grounds. It seems to me that these kinds of things serve as excellent moments in which to share the truth. No, of course the world at large will not keep Christ in Christmas, will not admit they're giving thanks to God, they're celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. Given. But that doesn't mean we can't keep slipping it in there when they're obviously leaving the door open. Seems like a golden opportunity.

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