I came across this meme this morning as I was scrolling through my Memebook (aka Facebook) feed. At first glance, my response was, “Whoah now, take it easy. That’s a little harsh.” Maybe you read it the same way.
But, as I got thinking about it, there is far more truth in the meme than I care to admit. There are a lot of “Christians” who have fought for keeping Christ in Christmas – who have put bumper stickers on their cars and hung “Jesus is the reason for the Season” banners on their balconies. (I saw one this morning on my way in to church.) Those “christians” fought for keeping Christ in Christmas, but then treated their neighbors and anyone who disagreed with them as the spawn of Satan. They wanted people to know that Jesus is the reason for the season, even if that meant brow-beating it into their subconscious.
Are those bad things? Not necessarily. I don’t think they do any good. Just like I don’t think yelling “Repent” at a stranger walking down the street does any good either. And, especially in our part of the country, I think it can do more damage to our ability to be able to share Christ with someone. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. I think, in the Northwest, having the wrong bumper sticker or other Christianese paraphernalia can reduce our ability to share the gospel.
People have been programed for decades now to think that Christians are wack jobs, and if we post the wrong thing on our cars or houses, we lump ourselves in with the “wack jobs” and may never get to know that person who we need to share Christ with. We might not get to know them because they’ll be scared off by our upside down – “J” is for Jesus candy cane.
I don’t just say all that to offend those of you who enjoy those things. I say it, because there is something far greater than a banner or bumper sticker that I want people to experience. YOU! It is my hope and prayer that you are getting to know people and building meaningful relationships with the 8 to 15 people God has put in your life. You are better for them than bumper stickers and cheesy, rhyming slogans. You are the thing that is going to lead them to Christ. Not your ability to memorize lyrics from 1980’s Christian Christmas Music.
So, instead of fighting to put the Christ in Christmas, how about fighting to be Christ to someone this Christmas. Isn’t that what Jesus did by coming to earth? He literally was Christ to us. He didn’t come with a host of angles waving hand-painted Christian union IEW 707 on strike posters, He came and walked among us, taught us, showed us how to live by living in front of us and sacrificed himself for us.
I have a feeling if we live as much like Christ in front of our friends and family as we possibly can this Christmas, we’ll not only put the Christ back in Christians, but we’ll be responsible for putting Christ back in Christmas in our own lives.