a child, I once heard someone talking about how we need to "keep
the 'Christ' in Christmas." Over the last few years, this concept
has taken on more urgency as our country seems to be taking Christ
out of everything else. We have moved beyond the separation of church
and state (a concept designed to keep religious and governmental
institutions from becoming a single, monolithic power) into an era
of separating God from life. As the Ten Commandments, prayer and
references to a Supreme Being are purged from our courthouses, schools
and daily lives, the Christmas season clings to the idea that society
can still celebrate spiritual significance.
This "holiday season," I have decided to consciously seek out
ways to put Christ at the forefront. So while my grandchildren's
public school sings "Here Comes Santa Claus" to mark their
"winter break," I am purposely doing things to remind them
that there is more to Christmas than reindeer and presents.
There are several things you and your family can do to maintain
the true message of Christmas. If you do have children or grandchildren,
these can be especially important, since their view of Christmas
is still being formed.
Our ministry is partnering with Franklin Graham at Samaritan's Purse to support Operation Christmas Child by sending gifts to the people of Liberia. This is not only expressing the spirit of Christmas, it is expressing the spirit of Christ himself.
- Play Christmas music that reflects Christ's birth. This includes traditional songs like "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "O Holy Night," as well as contemporary songs like "Mary Did You Know?" and "Emmanuel." There's nothing wrong with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," but it does nothing to remind us of the real reason for the holiday.
- Attend a church celebration, such as a play or concert. Churches will include references to Christ that a secular organization may seek to avoid. By showing up at the religious event, you are supporting their efforts and reminding yourself of the sacredness of Jesus' birth.
- Decorate your house or office with images of Christ, not Santa. Candles that spell "NOEL" serve a higher purpose than those that spell "FROSTY."
- Select Christmas cards with spiritual significance. There's a world of difference between a card that proclaims "Glory to God in the highest" and one that features the latest cartoon character on the cover. Make it a point to wish people a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy
- Provide gifts for a needy family or child in your city or town. Jesus said that taking care of widows and orphans symbolizes taking care of Him. By doing this, you remind everyone on both the giving end and the receiving end of Christ's Word.
Let's all look for other opportunities to substitute something meaningless
with something meaningful. Even Christmas lights can remind us of
God's light and love. Though the world tells Christians to separate
Christ from our lives, we should look for places to tactfully put
the message of Christ back into the holidays. Certainly, we need to
exercise wisdom when doing these things -- we don't need to shove
Christ down others' throats -- but most people realize that Christmas
is really about Christ.
Let's help everyone remember this "holiday" season that "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 591
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE
Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host
of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes. For
more information, log on to www.lifetoday.org.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, randy.robison at loi.org
Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for
complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.