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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Have Yourself a Secular Little Christmas

I started my Christmas shopping today. Granted, the very act of shopping for Christmas presents is part of the secular side of the Christmas holiday; however, in the past, while doing my Christmas shopping, I've always felt an almost palpable sense of joy in the air.

I didn't feel that today. Today, Christmas shopping was just - shopping. There was no sense of joy, and I knew why.

I had shopped in two malls, and not one time did I see the word Christmas written anywhere. Not one time did I hear the word spoken. Santa was in one of the malls; children were sitting on his lap, whispering in his ear what they wanted him to bring. But there was not one nativity scene on display anywhere. Christmas music was pumped into the mall and into some of the individual stores, but it was all secular Christmas music. I did not hear one "Silent Night," one "Away in a Manger," or one "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." I didn't hear one single Christian Christmas song.

It occurred to me that this is what Christmas would be like without Jesus: no joy, no spirit, no meaning. Then, it further occurred to me that this is what all of life would be like without God: again, no joy, no spirit, no meaning.

I have nothing against Santa Claus, Rudolph, or Christmas presents. I enjoy "Jingle Bells," "Silver Bells," and a "Holly Jolly Christmas" as much as the next guy. That's all part of our Christmas tradition. But when that's all there is, there is nothing lasting.

Christmas didn't become the celebration it is simply because we spend more money than we can afford so that we can give each other more gifts than we need or deserve. Most of the gifts we receive are forgotten anyway within a short period of time. It's the joy, the cheer, and the wonder of the season that we remember. When we remove Jesus from Christmas, all of that is lost. All we're left with is last year's hot video game that we no longer want because a newer and better version has been released.

Without Jesus, the joy will vanish, the memories will fade, and Christmas will die away.


Blogger Malott said...

WGNR or any of the other Moody stations play great Christ-centered Christmas music. Listening to these stations on the way to the mall might help.

Fragile fingers sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorns
Tiny heart whose blood must save us
Unto us is born.

Merry Christmas, Bryan!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

Thanks Chris,

Christians will continue to celebrate Christmas with Christ as the center. It's just sad to see what's happening to Christmas in society as a whole.

You have a Merry Christmas, too!

10:01 PM  

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