Last year was a tough year for “Merry Christmas.” It seemed like every corner store was banning the dangerous phrase from being spoken by employees. Instead, a “Happy Holiday” was wished upon us.
There is a HUGE difference between being merry and being happy. Merry people are busy saving the world by making sure that everyone acts like Jesus, even if they don’t know Jesus from Alice Cooper. The merry mission is to strongarm the entire world into behaving as if they already know Jesus. This comes at the expense of His reputation, but for merry people it is well worth it.
The new front line of battle last year became a simple phrase: Merry Christmas. If you don’t acknowledge Christ on Christmas, then you are in big trouble, pal. But the tables were turned this year. In almost every retail establishment I’ve been to, there is somebody saying the magic words, “Merry Christmas!” It gives me goosebumps, or should I say, a chill. With each Christmas salutation, I wonder if it was Christian peer pressure that forced them to do it!
Christendom has temporarily won the Merry Christmas battle, but we seperate ourselves further from the world and from Christ when we insist that the world act like Him without ever knowing him. It brings double damage to His cause: Not only are people given an inaccurate picture of what God is doing in the world, but they also are repelled by the people who represent Him.
God’s invitation is to a messy manger, in a messy stable, to worship a Savior who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Can we find a way to invite people to such a scene without asking them to first clean up their act?
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From one messy traveller to a messy-anic webmaster.
Pray allow me to throw this tidbit to the throes of our mutual Theodicy… “For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
I urge us all to be in some manner “mad” or at least at a loss of our senses (as they accused Jesus of in Mark 3:21) during this “High and Holy Day” season. Paul was not ashamed to be beside himself and to look foolish for the sake of Christ and His Good News. And yet, in a witty kind of way, he could also conduct himself so as to win the most vile, the most philosophic and even the most wretchedly religious as well.
There’s a fine line then to this crazy Christianity we find ourselves inextricably bound to. We are called upon to be radical and yet not to torment others with it. We are to seek to loosen the oppressive bonds by which others are bound and yet do so, somehow, without cutting them in the process.
Let us be merry then without mettling with the mentality of the mundane… and shine some of Christ’s Love-light into the hearts of those drawn to cross our paths with this simple refrain: “Merry Christ-mass.” Merry Christmas to all for the ALL He has done… in that, He sent us a savior, and sacrificed His Son.