Wednesday, December 13, 2006

...and yet, Christ Remains in CHRISTmas! Praise GOD!

My friend and co-contributor, PJ , has a new signature quotation on her email:

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." ~Dr. Seuss

It happens to be my favorite line from How the Grinch Stole Christmas but, as I was lying in bed suffering from insomnia last night, the song You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, came to mind. There are a lot of Grinches in America today. It's as if some non-Christians want to completely remove the true meaning of Christmas and make it all about "com(ing) from a store."

I can't help but feel it's all sour grapes. Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated world wide, yet as long as it is associated with Christ, and it will always be associated with Christ, there will be people who, while professing Christians are sticking their noses into other people's business, would like to take Christmas away from Christians and turn it into an annual gift-giving extravaganza with no meaning.

Try as they might, they just can't make Christmas come from a store, and as I was thinking about that last night I realized something. I realized that for a Christian, no matter what anyone else chooses to call Christmas, it will always be Christmas and it will always truly live in the heart of a Christian as a celebration of Christ's birth, and more, the miracle of his birth and the miracle of God's plan to send his Son, as a baby, into this physical world to save mankind from his sin and offer us the gift of everlasting life. Non-Christians certainly don't have to celebrate God's gift of life, Christians can do nothing else in this season of joy. Take away every other "bell and whistle," and we'll still have that joy, that remembrance of what God has done for each of us. Christ, you see, lives in our hearts.

The politically correct crowd can take down Christmas trees, they can remove Nativity scenes, they can call Christians stupid, uneducated fools. They can beat us with rhetorical clubs, they can pretend to know what inspires us but, as "Grinch-like" as they are, they can never take away the hope in our hearts, the faith we hold so precious and which is so personal to us, the spirit of love that our annual celebration inspires.

Secularism has added some nice traditions to Christmas but try as it might, secular humanism will never provide that right relationship with God, will never change the heart of man, will never inspire love and forgiveness in a heart in any real and meaningful way. Only Christ can offer that, and for a Christian? We may open a few gifts, they signify a pale comparison to what God has done for us, and what he enables us to share out of that loving gift, so sacrificially given.

No, Mr. Grinch, "Christmas really doesn't come from a store."

I started this blog with the signature quotation being used by PJ in her email. I'll end it with the signature quotations I have been using in my own email:

"He was created of a mother whom he created. He was carried by hands that he formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, he, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute." ~ Augustine of Hippo

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." 2 Corinthians 9:15

Merry Christmas! :)


PJ said...

Lovely post Jacke. Christmas has undergone many transformations in America throughout the years, but the reason for Christmas is everlasting, nor can it be confined by legislation and laws. Be it a holiday tree or a Christmas tree, the reason that so many celebrate the season will never change and as long as we keep that in mind, Christmas will be as it should. A celebration of the heart and soul that fills us with goodwill for all mankind. Grinch or not. :)

shak el said...

If you want to put Christ into X-mas then stay out of the store. "Buy Nothing, and give to the poor."

shak el said...

X-mas is really a pagan holiday (and lets not even mention the pagan holiday of Easter!) which is why it has endured. Maybe its time to put Wotan back into X-mas :-)

Jacke M. said...

Thank you, PJ! See what you inspired with your Dr. Seuss quote? Inspiration comes from everywhere...but ESPECIALLY God. :)

Jacke M. said...

shak el,

In reply to your first comment, you missed the point. Whether giving gifts from a store, whether giving money or your time to charity, whether making your own gifts of baked goods or crafts (which is generally what I do) or whether giving NOTHING AT ALL, Christmas will still be Christmas and there's nothing anyone can do about it. You see, as long as Christ lives in the hearts of Christians, even one single Christian, Christmas will live on. :)

The gifts that you get from a store will fail you one day. Christ will never fail you. :)

Jacke M. said...

shak el,

In reply to your second comment I will refer you to this: