Over the past decade, in an effort to be more inclusive of all types of people and religions, we’ve noticed more businesses, stores, and individuals have switched from saying “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.” This change has created quite a stir! Several years ago, when Starbucks released a plain red cup, a segment of Christians from all over our country were in an uproar. Some people went so far as to boycott the establishment. Thankful for me, I don’t drink coffee. I did have a look at the cup though, and my first reaction was, “That’s a clean, nice looking cup!”
It’s not Starbucks job to tell people “Merry Christmas.” God didn’t ask Starbucks to be the light of this world or the salt of the earth. It’s their job to serve a quality coffee. And while some would disagree on their quality, their numbers and revenues prove that they are doing just that.
I was, and am often, embarrassed at the way Christians react to scenarios like this. But if I’m honest, I’m regularly embarrassed at the way Christians react to the pertinent issues in our day. I’m embarrassed because when it comes to a lot of major issues, our first response is to look at everyone else and say, “What’s wrong with them,” rather than “How can I make a difference?” What’s crazy is a lot of the “everyone else’s” that we are angry at aren’t even Christ followers in the first place! These are people that never signed up to follow Jesus and to live by his rules. We can’t hold them accountable for something they never signed up for in the first place.
But we can look within ourselves.
Ultimately, we have a God whose first reaction for those outside of our fold is not to condemn, but to give grace. Romans 5:8 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The reality is that it’s getting harder in our country to be a Christian and to stand firm to our Christian morals and beliefs. In my lifetime, I’ve never heard as much negativity, pessimism, and fear surrounding our country and where it’s headed. Rather than jumping on the negative train and blaming everyone else for what is wrong, I choose to embrace the time and place in which I live. The reality is that Christians in this country have never been as valuable as we are right now because in the midst of all of the chaos and confusion, we are left with the only answer that matters! And it’s Jesus. He is our hope.
Don’t get bothered when other people, businesses, or organizations don’t say “Merry Christmas,” especially if they don’t possess a faith in Christ. There are bigger issues at stake. As for you, go ahead and say “Merry Christmas.” You should. It is a great day! It was the day our Savior Jesus Christ was born! We have reason to celebrate!