“Put Christ back into Christmas,” I hear this statement year after year. “Season’s greeting and Happy Holidays” are a means of persecution and removing Jesus from Christmas. The abbreviated “Xmas”, too, sees Christ as being removed from Christmas. “Pagan Practices” such as the Christmas tree, gifts under the Christmas tree, Santa Claus and his reindeer, have usurped the focus from Jesus Christ.
Christmas, however, is all about Jesus Christ. It has always been about him. We might have got the whole thing wrong by misaligning our understanding and practices from what it should be, which is to give God the glory for taking the form of humanity in order that we may get to know him, his love and his salvation for us. Christ has always been in Christmas. He has not changed his incarnation and he has not changed its purpose.
Christmas is about the love of God the Father for his creation. Christmas is about the Saviour who was born into obscurity to identify with those, his creation, who were lost and in need of a Saviour (which is everyone by the way, no matter how enlightened we might want to believe we are). Christmas is about the death of the Saviour who was born to give us life. Christmas is about that reconciling act of God the Father through Jesus Christ in order that we may experience his grace and mercy and be adopted into his family. These things we cannot put into Christmas as it is only the Father who can and who already has. These things we cannot put back into Christmas because it has always been a part of Christmas. There is nothing missing from Christmas except our misaligned thoughts and actions. If we should celebrate Christmas in the fashion of the very first Christmas, then there would be no place for Jesus Christ in any of our homes. Jesus would be rejected by the very people he came to rescue. He would be persecuted and misunderstood. Nobody would know that a Saviour has come.
How do we “put” Christ back into Christmas? There are still many acts of love, kindness and hope especially during this time of the year which is the embodiment of who Christ is. We are to live the principles of which the Kingdom of God exists, which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). We are also to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27). That is Christmas!
We therefore do not have to “put” Christ back into Christmas because he has never left Christmas.. Forcing people to accept Christ by “putting him back into Christmas” is shoving Christ down people’s throats, which was never the way God intended it to be. While we testify about the life that Christ offers (in word and deed), we have to voluntarily accept Jesus Christ through faith without having been forced to choose him. While it may be good intentions in thought to put Christ back into Christmas, yet it is this very act of “putting Christ back into Christmas” that removes Christ from Christmas.
Christ has always been in Christmas.
Disclaimer: This updated post was originally posted in 2014.