What does it take to have a merry Christmas?
For some people, it’s about the presents. If “just the right thing” doesn’t show up under the tree, the whole season of anticipation is seen as a waste of time.
For others, it’s about family. To be sure, many people find this time of year enriched by the presence of loved ones.
But there’s got to be more to it!
The children of St. Paul’s, Nobleton have spent the past several weeks rehearsing and performing a Christmas musical entitled, “It’s A Wonder-Full Life”. The premise is this: a group of kids complete their annual Christmas ‘pageant’, and one of them can’t wait to get home to find a really significant gift under the tree. Left to clean up after the presentation, this child just wants to leave it all and go home, wishing that Christmas was just about presents. With that, the lights go out on the tree, the gifts are empty, and the bell suddenly has no clapper. Without Jesus, the kids discover, there can be no Christmas.
They sing, “You can’t take Jesus out of Christmas: He’s there for all eternity. You can’t take Jesus out of Christmas. Don’t take Him away; you must let Him stay ‘cause Jesus means Christmas to me.”
It takes Jesus to have a merry Christmas. Yet all kinds of people – rarely, it should be noted, people of other religious traditions – work hard to excise Jesus from Christmas, or even to excise Christmas as a term from the ‘holiday season’. Here’s a poem that’s been going around the Internet that illustrates what I mean (it’s American, but you can translate it appropriately):
‘Twas the Month before Christmas
‘Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas – no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanza
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was nowhere to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzer
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS,
not Happy Holiday!
Please, all Christians join together
and wish everyone you meet,
Jesus is The Reason for the Season!”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9.6).
By the way, the kids are performing the Christmas musical one more time, this Sunday night at 7:00. You are very welcome to come and share the joy of Christmas!