A governor changes the name of the statehouse Christmas tree to “holiday tree.”
The local school board votes to change Christmas break to “winter break.”
A national retailer forbids employees to greet customers with “Merry Christmas,” telling them instead to utter “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.”
What’s going on here? Why, it’s the annual “War on Christmas,” where one side waters down Christmas sentiments for fear of offending non-Christians, and the other side lets the world know how offended they are by such blatant secularism.
Fact is, Christmas is offensive. Two millenia ago, God took the offensive by invading the world, armed with a Child. The cub nestled in a straw-stuffed manger would grow up to be the roaring Lion of Judah, offending His mother and siblings by including others in His family; offending the religious Pharisees when He declared that prostitutes and tax collectors would enter the Kingdom of God before them; offending the crowds when He offered His body to eat and blood to drink.
As C.S. Lewis put it in Mere Christianity: “Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
God is never on the defense. God always plays offense. Throughout biblical history and the events of time, we see the Lord storming sin, invading darkness, assailing evil.
Amazingly, God does all of this with only one weapon.
Perhaps it is time for both sides to put down their weapons of words and take up the instrument of love, even if they may never agree. The Apostle who saw the ultimate Invasion of God firsthand put it beautifully when he wrote, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).
Peace on earth, goodwill to all.