Published December 16, 2014

Paul's Epistle...
"Remember When..."

Forgive me a little Christmas reminiscing... In fact, perhaps you also remember...

Are you old enough, and do you remember enough of the above (some are still around at places), to worry about what today's younger generations have lost at Christmastime? And are you heartsick about the fact that they don't even realize it? Or seem to care?

Franklin Graham, writing in December's Decision magazine, said that what's come to be called a war on Christmas is actually "a war on Christ." He noted that "stores, schools and communities across America continue to find new and intolerant reasons to remove any religious references to Christmas, stripping it of any holy or historical significance. Christian songs, prayers and other spiritually vital connections to the Lord Jesus Christ are deleted or dismissed."

Graham concluded that because it's actually a war against Christ and Christian beliefs, "We should not be taken aback, then, when a day that should be devoted to meditation upon the marvelous, virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is instead treated in a scandalously secular way that denies His deity and saving work."

You and I know what Christmas is all about – the Lord's incarnation. (And although we happen to celebrate it on Dec. 25th, his actual birthday could have come at an entirely different time of the year. What does it matter — as long as we celebrate it?)

And who is it that tries to destroy any such celebration? Who wants to rob the celebration of its joy? Satan, of course, and his minions. Scratch someone who objects to celebrating the Lord's birth and you'll find someone who thinks Christianity is a bunch of worthless fairytales, nothing more. No wonder they're "offended" by the attention Christ gets at Christmastime.

As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "the message of the cross" – the Gospel – "is foolishness to those who are perishing..." And this issue seems to bring out a lot of foolishness each year.

The good news is that perhaps the tide is turning, if ever so slowly. Some school districts that once canceled carol sings have reinstated them after legal counsel said there was no legal reason to prohibit them. Some merchants who once refused to allow "Merry Christmas" are now allowing it again, albeit on a limited response-only basis. As the late Paul Harvey used to say, "Excesses are inevitably their own undoing."

Go ahead — celebrate Christ's birth! Celebrate His coming! Celebrate His reason for coming! Where would we be without it?

- Paul

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