It’s about Christ – so it’s really a holiday (holy day) for any who love Christ.

How could we expect those who do not love and follow Christ to be super sensitive to the religious, or spiritual meaning of the season? Why should we harass them about it? We should not! That’s not very welcoming, and the Gospel is about welcome.

What really matters is how WE, ourselves, respond to these holidays.

Or more to the point – what really matters is how WE are responding to Christ week in and week out throughout the year.

Immanuel - God With Us

Immanuel – God With Us

What if someone gives Christmas less respect than we think it deserves – should we start a quarrel about it?

Hey, people give sunsets and chickadees and 2nd-graders less respect than they deserve. The solution is not that we become touchy, argumentative and warlike. We should become more Christlike.

We celebrate Christmas because Christ has come. His name is Immanuel – because He is God With Us. And Jesus said, while He was here, that He would be ALWAYS with us. So maybe we should say that Christmas is a big deal because God – in Christ – is here with us in this world NOW!

Sadly, maybe if there really is a “war on Christmas” we are the ones doing it, by not living the Reality of God present.

Maybe too often those who claim to love and serve Christ live as if the Reality were not Real. Maybe sometimes we make it look like God is NOT really with us – or with anybody. That would be a very dangerous “war” on Christmas.

Jesus - The Lord is Near

Jesus – The Lord is Near

“Let your gentleness be apparent to everyone. The Lord IS near.” (Philippians 4:5) That is the real meaning of Christmas.

Let’s work – in our own thoughts and feelings, actions and words this month – to be sure we are practicing the Presence of God, and the “Welcome!” of the Gospel. That’s what this is all about.

And that is the only way to persuade a very busy, stressed, and secular world

that “the real meaning of Christmas” is anything worth giving attention to. Please, let us do that. Because the real meaning of this holiday is absolutely the most awesome thing in human life! “The Lord is near.”