Monday, December 1, 2014

You're most likely not "keeping Christ in Christmas".

Happy December and blessed Advent to everyone! To kick off the month of December, I am calling attention to a meme that has been viral for many years now, even before memes were memes and the internet was prominent. I'm talking about the phrase" Keep Christ in Christmas" that everyone shares around this time of year. Sounds harmless enough, but there are many reasons why it is not.

  • When you say things like "keep Christ in Christmas" you are actually turning the sentiment back upon yourself, (there's an understood "you/I" at the beginning of that phrase; grammar FTW) turning it into a work. We cannot by any means "keep Christ" in anything, because we are poor, miserable sinners who will find every little detour to keep Him out.

  • If you profess to be a child of God through Jesus Christ, then why does family trump Christ? I'm serious about this one. I have known far too many churches to cancel their services if Christmas falls on a Sunday, in the name of family. Sorry, but that's not right. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are not about family, or parties, or alcohol and food, or gifts. They are about the birth of our precious Savior, the greatest gift we will ever receive. So please don't tell me you are keeping Christ in Christmas or that "Jesus is the reason for the season" if you do not go to church and gather around the Word and Sacrament on these Holy Days.

  • The absolute most important thing you can even do during this, the reflective season of Advent, is to attend a church that focuses on Christ and how He was long foretold. Truly confessional churches structure their services around the coming of Christ, all leading up to His humble birth.

That being said, I am not a scrooge. (See my most recent post!) Of course spend time with family, go to Christmas parties, and enjoy the food, drink, and gifts. But I challenge my readers to remember why we even celebrate during this festive season. Gather the family on Christmas Eve and find a traditional candelight church service nearby. If you truly want Jesus Christ to remain the center of our celebration, as you are implying with the sharing of that meme, then remember the reason He was even brought down to earth to be born and live as one of us.

This one is MUCH better.

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, King of kings, and Lord of lords, the Son of the living God and Son of David, come. Come now to Your Church that you have purchased with Your blood. Come with Your gracious presence, that we may rejoice in You. Come and rule over us, that we may serve and follow You. Come with Your love, humility, and perfect obedience, and let Your lowliness become our glory. Come into the midst of Your people and bless us, for we are Your heritage. Forgive us our sin, and do not angrily cast away Your servants, for You are meek and gracious. Clothe us with the garment of Your righteousness, for You are the only righteous one and our helper. Satisfy us with the abundance of Your mercy, for You did become poor for our sakes, that by Your poverty we might be made rich. Hear us, Lord Jesus, for the sake of Your holy name. Amen.
~prayer for Advent, Lutheran Book of Prayer (CPH), page 120

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