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Let Your Light Shine at Christmas

By Watchman | December 7, 2009

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

“…Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  (Matthew 5:44)

     I have received several e-mails so far this year from Christian groups suggesting that we boycott stores and companies that prefer their employees to wish us “Happy Holidays” instead of a “Merry Christmas.”  Those of you who have left your names and e-mail addresses on the websites of several Christian/family ministries have probably gotten at least one of these requests yourselves.  Since I, too, have been disgusted with the current trend toward not being allowed to hear the name of my Lord spoken in public, I have some sympathy for those who think we should put unofficial economic sanctions on those companies who cave on the altar of political correctness. However, while I know many of those who are advocating boycotts are good and Godly people, I respectfully disagree with their conclusion that this is the best way of trying to put Christ back into Christmas.  Indeed, I fear that these attempts to fight  the “War against Christmas” may actually be robbing us of the privilege and opportunity to be effective messengers of this joyful season.

     We have begun each year to deprecate there being a war against Christmas when, in truth, the war that is being waged is against Christ Himself.  The enemy has begun to blind the not-yet-saved to the hope and peace that can only be found in the righteousness of God.  This is Satan’s greatest desire; that he keep as many people as he can from finding fulfillment and everlasting life in the Father of all creation.  That he would launch battles to keep one of the holiest days of the year from being seen as a day of worship and exultation that God Himself came down to earth to restore us to a right relationship with Him is not a great surprise, given the shortness of time that Satan has left in which to conduct his demonic business.  Now, a lot of pastors are suggesting that we “hit in the pocketbook” those businesses that prefer not to refer to Christ as a part of this holiday.  (Note:  a good friend of mine points out , rightfully, that “holiday” is short for “holy day”, which makes it much more palatable as a Christmas greeting than Christians may realise!)  But, brothers and sisters, are these places not the ones that most need the light of His love shining upon them?  If they do not feel they can invite Jesus to be a part of their holiday (holy day) celebrations, then how much more we should be going in to them and shining His light through ourselves to all with whom we come into contact!  My suggestion is that we deliberately patronize shops that do not recognize the Reason for the season and bless those who are within to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Many of those who work in these businesses do not like the policy of not being allowed to celebrate Christmas and calling it instead the Winter Holidays.  They are there because they need to pay their rents and feed their families, just as we all do.  Many of them look pleased when you answer their stock greeting with a “Merry Christmas” earnestly and lovingly said, or a “God be with you.”  Reacting to them rudely, or critically condemning their greeting serves only to make us look petty–something Jesus certainly is not. 

     Our job as followers of the Most High God is to spread the Gospel of Jesus and to shine His light into all the dark places we can.  Surely we can best do this by trying as hard as we can to follow the examples set us by Jesus Himself–love come down and made incarnate.  Love those who might not love us back; bless those who curse us; do good to all who we feel have wronged or harm us.  All the boycotts in the world will not change the minds of those who are set against Christ; they will not help those who love Him and are stuck in jobs they cannot leave.  Jesus never forced anyone to believe in Him; never forced anyone to love Him; never forced anyone to bow down to Him.  Love that is forced from people is not a true love, and God wants us to love Him because He first loved us. In all my study of New Testament  Scripture, I have found no authority by which I should condemn those who do not know God.  It is my duty to tell those who are living without His loving care and forgiveness that Jesus loves them; that He came down to earth from the heavenly places to take on their sins and die and be resurrected that they might have a chance at eternal life. This, beloved, is the message we should be bringing to the darkness:  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)  This Christmas season, let us go out into the world to proclaim the Good News of the birth of our Savior to those who may not hear of Him otherwise!

Maranatha!

Topics: Special Seasons of Worship | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Let Your Light Shine at Christmas”

  1. Susan Says:
    December 15th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Melissa,
    What you have written here has truly moved my heart-rather, even more than that, my soul has been stirred within me by the sincerity, truth and beauty of your words..

    When I first began getting the e-mail calls to boycott the stores who refused to acknowledge that it is not a ” A Happy Winter’s Day”-but instead is the memorial of the birth of this world’s Savior, I thought “yeah, right on! That’s where they will take notice-when they are hit in their pocket-books and Bank Accounts.
    Golly geez did I ever have that one wrong! It’s not a lack of material “things” that cause the sinners heart to begin to feel remorseful. Creating the personal hunger after repentance. Nor is it really the lack of money which stirs the soul as it begins to change the sinners heart from a darkened world to the Light of Immanuel.
    Rather, it is of a certainty, a case of “plenty.” Meaning that it is the fullness beyond measure of the love of God that is testified by and in the Person of Jesus Christ.

    You are right my friend, even as He hung between Heaven and earth, displayed for all the mockers and haters to see that fateful Day over 2,000 years ago? He not once said; “avoid them and have nothing to do with them that hate Me. Or that hate you because you are Mine.
    Instead from a heart that overflowed with the plentiful love that He and the Father shared He spoke things such as “Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do”, as His body was wracked with unfathomable and excruciating pain.
    Thank you. Thank you for reminding me…of the Love of Jesus Christ and God the Father by what you have written here..and the Spirit I clearly see herein by the things which you have written here.

    When, I grow up I want to be just like you! 🙂 LOL!

    I love you Melissa-thank you for being my e-mail buddy and I can’t but help wish we lived closer to one another- for being a partaker in a friendship like yours must assuredly be, would be a blessing indeed.

    I have a “feeling”…when He says “Come Up here” you’ll be one of the first to see Him in all His Glory..
    God Bless you,
    4Christ 🙂

  2. Shirley Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I must confess, I got caught up in the boycott thing. Then it slowly dawned on me – in a gentle way – as only the Holy Spirit can do: If we react in a negative manner, we might just come across as prideful. Now, isn’t pride something that stinks to our Heavenly Father? Doesn’t it make more sense to be a “sweet smell”? Giving someone a smile and a word of kindness can go farther to spread The Good News than a frown and a judgmental attitude. In one store, I wished the cashier a “Merry Christmas” (first) and her reply to me was “humph”. I had to smile. This….after boycotts to stores whose employees can’t say “Merry Christmas”.

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