Living in the Philippines for the past twenty-six years, we've gotten used to celebrating Christmas wearing havaianas and board shorts. White Christmas? As long as the white part is a beach.
Now we are in the States. And while Christmas might not be white, it will be freezing. No more havaianas and board shorts.
The cold is not our only adjustment to American Chritsmas. In the new hyper-sensitive, super-tolerant, politically correct America we are supposed to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Chritsmas." Apparently pronouncing the letters C, H, R, I, S and T when followed by "-mas" rather than a "cuss" word is offensive to some.
And it's not just the secularists who don't like Christmas. Some of my fellow pastors do not participate in Christmas traditions because of the ungldly pagan roots. My anti-Christmas religious friends say:
- Christmas trees are bad because evergreen trees were used in pagan Druid ceremonies
- December 25 was not really when Jesus was born, rather it was choosen to Christianize the pagan winter solstice celebration
- the whole modern celebration promotes materialism
All of the above and more may be true, but does that mean we should skip Christmas?
Could God possibly take something that was pagan and make it point to Christ? Isn't that exactly what the incarnation is all about? Isn't the real reason God came to earth in human flesh to redeem things that were pagan - like me and you?