The other day I was driving behind a car with a “Keep Christ is Christmas” bumper sticker. I have seen this phrase since I was in Sunday school posted as a reminder not to get overwhelmed by thoughts of presents and stockings when we should be thinking of silent and holy nights.
On the one hand, I approve of the phrase as a reminder of the reason that we celebrate. On the other hand, I take issue with it just as I take issue with those who would tell me that God has been kicked out of our schools. If God is who we say God is and Jesus is who we say Jesus is then neither of them can be kicked in or out of anything. It is prideful to think that we or anyone else can do so by an improper seasonal greeting, overblown consumerism or a congressional vote.
I don’t think our challenge is to get other people to remember Christ at Christmas. I think our challenge as the people of God is to remember Christ on Tuesday. I don’t mean some special Tuesday of religious significance. I mean just a run-of-the-mill Tuesday when there are errands to run, classes to take and appointments to meet on time; that Tuesday when you wanted to stay in bed and when the line at the checkout was so long and the drivers were idiots. If you can remember Christ on Tuesday, then Christmas will be a breeze.
More importantly, if you are able to remember Christ on Tuesday, then the people around you might have more of a reason to think on Christ at other times. If we, the people who represent Christ to the world are loving and peaceful, compassionate and generous (values we celebrate at Christmastime) on a random Tuesday, then maybe those around us will start to listen to what we have to say about Christmas or Easter or Sunday.
Blessings to all of you this Christmas season. Keep Christ in Christmas, but then keep Christ on Tuesday (and Thursday wouldn’t hurt either).