As we head into the Christmas season, I want to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I have spent many of the last few days doing a series of interviews on the Happy Holidays and are we taking Jesus out of Christmas. One of the more fascinating of these interviews was on a Washington DC radio station where a Jewish host and an agnostic had trouble understanding why Christians get so frustrated during this time of year, why they feel persecuted. I tried to explain that for many for whom this holiday means so much to have people want to remove the presence of Jesus from the season was frustrating. My recommendation was rather than to take Jesus out of Christmas, we should show respect to all the holidays being celebrated this time of year. I am quite comfortable wishing people Happy Hanukkah or Happy Quanza or Happy Ramadan or whatever holiday they celebrate during the year. After all, if we wish people to be sensitive to Christians in this season, Christians should be willing to be sensitive to others. In addition, the very survivial of the Jewish faith was the result of what is celebrated at Hanukkah, a point of historical background that feeds into Christmas time. As we discussed this, I suggested that real political correctness recognizes the role of religion in people's lives and has respect for it, rather than trying to neutralize it all-- or trying to pretend most people do not live with religious feelings. The conversation was a good one. The interviewers, one a Jew and the other an agnostic, thought the proposal was valuable. Later I did an interview with a Christian host from New Mexico who said he does get angry at this time of year for many of the reasons I had raised in the earlier interview. Again, I went through my proposal and said Christians are better not to get angry but to discuss the significance of the season, even doing so for many different faiths that have holidays this time of year. Christ came to share hope with people from every tribe and nation. Christians and Christmas are about an invitation into a fresh relationship with God. So remember the reason for the season is the message of invitation into renewed relationship with God that Jesus makes possible by providing forgiveness and establishing the way to reconnect with God by faith in him. Share that with folks as you explain why Christmas is a such a merry time of year. That is the best way to put Christ into Christmas. In the meantime, Merry Christmas, and if you are celebrating another holiday during this or any other time of the year, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah or Happy Quanza or a Happy Ramadan.
Merry Christmas to All Dec 22