As we come upon the holiday season, it seems to me that most people get very contemplative about God. That’s a good thing—most of the time.
We also seem to become very conscious and aware of the political climate of our towns, schools, nation and even the world. We see more and more incidents of things like Nativity scenes being removed from the town square, store clerks told they are not to say “Merry Christmas”, etc.…
I see a lot of reactions and responses to society’s attempt for an androgynous holiday season. We all see them: the posts on social media that declare stuff like: “Like this post if you say Merry Christmas”; and of course, the ubiquitous “Jesus is the reason for the season” signs, pins, banners and stickers.
But then there are the folks that are, in my opinion, a little, um.. “Overzealous”. Well-meaning Christians who appear to be so offended by the government’s removal of God that they get downright militant in their response and reactions. Have you ever seen a social media post that says something like: “Like this post if you believe in the constitution and say Merry Christmas to every store clerk, or just keep scrolling if you are happy to be going to hell in a handbasket”. Or, my all-time favorites that conveys the message: “Kids are bullying other kids into a suicidal mindset because we removed God from schools. Like if you want prayer back in schools”.
I usually just keep on scrolling and take my chances that I won’t really go to hell in that handbasket. But I want to take this opportunity to say my piece. You see, I do say Merry Christmas to everyone I see, and once I say it, most store clerks say it right back to me. I also love the season and the Santa Claus, decorations and hustle and bustle—all while KNOWING that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season.
I am not at all worried that we are erasing God by not allowing a Nativity scene on government property. We do not live in a theocratic society, but live in what is probably as close to a democracy as it gets in this crazy world. It is my right to put a Nativity scene on my lawn, and I will defend my right (or yours) to do so always. We are all guaranteed freedom of religion. We can worship as we want and the government cannot stop us. Not any of us. We ALL have freedom of religion.
So, while I am saddened by it, I’m not upset that Nativity sets and Ten Commandment plaques are removed from government property. As long as they are not allowing any symbolic representation of any religion.
I believe that when someone challenged the courts to remove prayer from public schools (in those days prayer was a normal part of the school day and led by the teachers), that God allowed it to come to pass in order to preserve the children of God from being subjected to prayer led by teachers of other faiths. You see, if teachers are permitted to lead prayer in public schools, then they would be able to lead ANY prayer that they see fit according to their beliefs. No, thank you! I will teach my children about Jesus and teach them to pray. I am not interested in anyone teaching them to pray to the air or wind or anything or one that suits the fancy of the teacher!
I am not concerned that God is being erased by society and/or the government. I am more concerned that He is being hidden, and the only ones that can do that are those that believe in Him and are supposed to be His light in this world. God has not been removed from the schools or from our society. If you are raising your children to know Him and serve Him, then when they go to school, He is there. His Word says that He is with us always. We abide in Him, and He with us. We are the carriers of His glory in this world.
What does the glory of God look like? It looks like the one who buys an extra cup of coffee and a meal for someone who is hungry. It looks like the nurse who sits in the emergency room with a woman who just found out she is now a widow, and holds her hand until her family arrives. It looks like the one who takes off their own coat to give it to a homeless person on the street, the one opens their home to someone who needs a place to stay. It looks like the changes seen in society not by posting things on social media, but by those prayer warriors who take up the cause on their knees, knowing that God hears them. And yes, it looks like a Nativity scene on the lawn, and the signs reminding us that Jesus really is the reason for the season. It sounds like a choir singing Silent Night and the greeting of Merry Christmas.
No, society cannot erase God—not if we don’t let it. Reach out to the un-lovely among us; get involved and volunteer somewhere. Run for office and be an honest, forthright, praying politician! Most of all, be obedient to the Word that says in 2Chr. 7:14:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
This season I challenge you not to just think about what to give thanks for, but who you give thanks to. Declare “Merry Christmas” to everyone you can, and while you’re at it, add “and may God bless you!”
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and may the Lord abundantly bless you and keep you. May He bless you with a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!