Friday, December 23, 2016

Putting Christ Back In Christmas?


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People who profess to be Christians have always been wary of apparent attempts to remove Christ in Christmas. 

For example, last December 2015, a controversy brewed over Starbucks’ red cups. “When the cup debuted last year, some consumers accused Starbucks of waging war on Christianity after Starbucks removed images of snowflakes, trees, and ornaments that covered the cups in years prior.” [1]

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Then, of course, every year we debate whether it’s okay to write “Xmas” or “Christmas.” But either way we write it, I believe there was no conspiracy to remove Christ from Christmas. As Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul explained it,
We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ. … There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect. [2]
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Personally I suspect the holiday stress and the materialism that comes with the celebration do more in removing the reason for the season than holiday cups and right spelling. Yet, more than crying for putting back Christ in Christmas, how about putting Him back in our  lives? 

No matter how much we claim that we are His followers, if our lives do not confirm that claim, it’s merely an empty claim. Even when we profess to believe in God, we are practically atheists when we don’t obey Him.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! … For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:18-19, 26, ESV. Emphasis added)
As the Lord Jesus Himself asked, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) Instead of worrying about how the holiday is celebrated, we should work on living a holy life. After all, our conduct the whole year is more important than cups on a holiday season. 

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Brothers and sisters, let us put back Christ in our Christian lives.

[1] Lucinda Shen (4 November 2016), “Starbucks Is Bringing Back The Holiday Cup That Got it in Trouble Last Year,” Fortune, retrieved from http://fortune.com/.

[2] R. C. Sproul (19 December 2016), “What Does the X in Xmas Mean?”, Ligonier Ministries, retrieved from http://www.ligonier.org/. Emphasis added.