Time for truth.
Everytime I see a headline that says there's a "War On Christmas" I cringe a bit.
For war to take place, there has to be two sides of the battle willing to sacrifice at great lengths to make sure their ideology wins out. Right?
I mean think about it.
Here in American we study The Revolutionary War = British Empire vs. Colonial Independence
World War I = Allied forces verses Axis Forces
World War II = same as above
The Korean Conflict = Democracy versus Communism
The Vietnam War = Democracy versus Communism
The Gulf War = Iraq versus those in the world who would hold to a value of freedom
The Iraq War = The World against Weapons of Mass Destruction (at least some history books would write it that way)
The Afghan War = America versus Terror Ideology
Please forgive me if the narrative of each war doesn't hold true to your particular perspective. The reason for this list was merely to show the way we compartmentalize the "right" versus the "wrong" and draw lines in the sand. But a reality exists inside of each conflict. Often we see clearly and classify wars in terms of black and white, and the reality is there are many ways to see the paradigm of the other.
For example, when I hear my southern friends call the Civil War the "War of Northern Aggression" I cringe. Of course it's the war against slavery and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, but many don't see it that way. They've chosen to frame the war inside of the "right" they live in.
So when I hear this "War On Christmas" stick its head out from the cave it's been hiding for 11 months previous, EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I moan with my own exhaustion. I wonder, from what angle are we going to try to fight it. I metaphorically rub my eyes, am reminded the battle cry is ensuing, and look out for "What War?" What lines are being drawn?
"Well, Mary told me Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas." A friend complains.
"Macy's doesn't have Merry Christmas on their signs, it says Merry X-Mas."
"We're leaving Christ out of Christmas..."
And then every year I remember, this is totally a marketing ploy.
How many "War on Christmas" books have emerged from this fake battle?
How many people are hitting the malls in the suburbs to make sure their voice is heard?
How many times will we have nativity scene sit ins at the local government building to make sure we keep the Baby Jesus in the center of the Christmas season?
I for one find it TOTALLY ironic.
Walking through New York City last week and seeing the absolute debauchery of consumerism happening up and down the streets for MILES, kind of makes you wonder what the real war is all about. Should the lines be drawn to the marketing campaigns as Christmas versus X-mas, or will we draw the real lines of the war?
You see the war shouldn't be about weather or not we can hang a sign up for the Holiday season marketing Christmas. The war should really be about looking at the credit card bills in January on all the useless stuff we squandered while people are hurting in the streets of America today.
The real war shouldn't be to keep the warm cozy picture of Christmas morning alive, but rather; the warriors who want to keep Jesus in Christmas should read about Him. He didn't advocate for bright LED lights to be strung in your front-yard, a yule tide log in the fireplace, and egg nog at your Christmas party. Keeping Jesus in Christmas doesn't mean the images of YOUR reality are supposed to be fought for. No...if you really want to keep Jesus in Christmas, maybe we all should use our energy to understand the message Jesus brought us and be aware of the other people around us.
Maybe the war lines could cease to be drawn under the guise of Marketing Campaigns, and slick slogans to try and stamp a label on the season, and really bring the message of the season to bare.
“... ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
So if you want to be a part of the real war on Christmas, just look around your community and see who the least of these brothers are. If they don't have something to eat, clothes on their backs, if they are in prison, or they have been excluded and not invited to you world, then there is the real battle we should be fighting. We should be reaching out to those and making sure the message of The REAL Christmas can be heard through the noise of what we've created it to be.
WHO CARES if it says the word "Christmas" on the sign as we fail to see the least of these suffer. The Good News for all mankind has little to do with what gift you unwrap on December 25th, and a whole lot more to the HOPE OF THE WORLD the Kingdom of God is available to ALL MEN.
If you're ready to fight the war, let's join together and FIGHT to make sure we are fighting the real war.