Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy Holidays: Where are the shepherds when we need them

In 2009, President and Mrs. Obama broke tradition by announcing that their White House holiday card would expressly omit any mention of Christmas or of Jesus' birth. The words "Merry Christmas"were replaced by "Happy Holidays" on cards sent from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A growing trend to omit any mention of Christmas from the holiday's celebration has been steadily creeping into the culture of America. Public displays of nativity scenes have come under attack by anti-Christmas groups, and in a few cases, the courts have declared them to be illegal in public places in some communities.

Christian group stages nativity scene in front of the Supreme Court
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Nowadays Christmas is marked by tree trimming and gift giving with little mention of Jesus Christ, whose birth it celebrates. And like the Presidential holiday card, some of us send out greeting cards full of holiday cheer, but no mention of the real joy that came into the world with Christ's birth.

The proclamation of Jesus' birth must not end with the shepherds. Those who follow the Christ of Christmas must proclaim this gospel message until the day Christ returns. Christians have an obligation to declare the real reason for the season, which is that Christ came into the world to save sinners. The shepherds left their sheep, and probably lost their jobs to spread the good news of Christ's coming. These words—
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, still have power to change lives in any season. This is the true message of Christmas that a lost world needs to hear.
Stand up for Christmas. If someone says, Happy Holidays it's their right, but it's also your right to respond, Have a blessed Christmas or Merry Christmas. This Christmas, before opening your gifts, read the biblical account of Christ's birth in the Gospels. And may this Christmas be as the angels proclaimed that day long ago in Bethleham—
Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

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