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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

It's Merry Christmas not happy holidays! Really?

I am bemused by the "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" debate. Is this the message of Christ mas? Did Christ teach us to defend our rights to celebrate our holidays; did he teach us to protect those rights at the peril of alienating those of other faiths?  

Christ tells us to love, do good, bless, pray for our friends, and those who agree with us? No, but to do these things for our enemies:

 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from the one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.(Luke 6:27-30)

Are we really being attacked, are we really suffering when someone says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Are the ones who say Happy Holidays really our enemies? 

There are Christians in other parts of the world who lives are in danger for proclaiming their faith in Christ, and we here in North America are upset because the teller at the bank or the circulation clerk at the library says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas! 

Christ did not die to give us another holiday to celebrate; he died to give us new life. He died because as fun as holidays are, they don't heal men and women's souls. 

He gave us a message to proclaim. The message that Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen and lives today. His message has not changed in over two thousand years; he still proclaims,

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28 & 29)

When someone says "Happy Holidays" this season, bless them. 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee. (Thomas Williams)