As I was tagging along with my wife, the day’s errands took us to Michael’s, a place filled with “arts and crafts, custom framing, home decor & seasonal products” and more than anything else: Christmas! Well over half the store was devoted to everything red, silver and gold on a green backdrop. According to the latest flyer, it’s all 50% off, too. You better get over there. And I mean now.
I started thinking about this thing called Christmas. This thing that has taken on a life of its own. This thing that now occupies two of the twelve months of the year. This thing that drives so much retail and online sales. This thing that we thought was a sacred holiday, but has long since been taken captive by our culture.
Church, I have sobering news for you. You are not going to get Christmas back. You’ve lost that battle. You’ve lost this culture war. There is nothing you can do to get Christ back in Christmas. It is now a fully secular event. You may participate in it, but it is not yours anymore.
But that’s OK. Really. Because we still have something. Something different. Something real. The nativity. That is still ours.
That’s the story. That’s the real story. And the world doesn’t want that. So it’s ours. It’s all ours.
So that’s what we’ll celebrate. That’s what we’ll proclaim. That’s the story we’ll tell. The nativity. That’s what you’ll hear me talk about. O, I like Christmas as much as the next guy. I’m in for trees, lights, songs, presents, cookies, snowmen, “Elf”, penguins, snow and fruitcake. But when it comes to church, we’re doing nativity. The festival of the nativity. The birth of the Savior, the King, the Christ.
That’s what you’ll be hearing me talk about. Not Christmas. Nativity.