This year's Christmas reminds me of an exciting, wonderful movie on the television with the sound turned off. I walk into a mall, and with the exception of my local Sears store, there's no indication that it's anything except an ordinary day. I purchase a gift and the clerk says, "Thank you. Have a nice day."
I want to scream. "This is a Christmas present. I'm buying it because it's Christmas!" I know the clerks are doing what they've been told, so I don't. There are throngs of people waiting in line to buy gifts in their stores. It doesn't look like an ordinary day. Who told them it was? Why?
On December twenty-fifth Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. They've been doing it in this country as long as I can remember. I used to ride with my parents to see the Christmas lights in our area and the live Nativity on the court house yard. In Christmases gone by the stores were filled with decorations, Christmas music and laughter. People stood back, took a breath from their busy lives, and wished Christmas blessings for all.
Because that's what Christians believe. Christ is the light of the world. He came to save sinners that all who believe in him should have everlasting life. (John 3: 16) He preached a Gospel of love. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22: 36 - 39) He preached peace, love and doing good works for others. Why would anyone want to silence the message?
Our country's more multi-cultural now. We have many other religions, and Christians have stood up for them and demanded freedom of worship for all. But now, someone wants to make sure Christians don't celebrate Christmas. Why? If they don't want to be Christians, they don't need to. How could Christ's message of love and peace hurt the world, a country, a state, a neighborhood?
Why don't people of other religions defend the right of Christians?
I finally asked a young man in a restaurant why there weren't any Christmas decorations this year.
He didn't know, but he said he was only allowed to say "Merry Christmas" if a customer said it first. I'm saying it! MERRY CHRISTMAS! I even got out my old Christmas sweater to wear shopping from now until Christmas so there's no doubt that I want to hear, "Merry Christmas."
For those of us who are Christians, perhaps we should wear something to let people know. It probably doesn't need to be as bold as my sweater. I'm just makin' sure. Too commercial? Where did that come from? Was it a media spin just to start the silencing of Christmas? Not me. I didn't fall for it.
Oh yeah, Sears, I'll be doing a LOT of shopping in your store all year around.