There is no war on Christmas. Period! There never was: the whole thing was just a distraction from way more important stuff. While self-righteous Christians complain that the salutation, “Seasons Greetings” is an attack on Christmas, we neglect the mission we’ve been called to by the one whose birth we celebrate.
The equally odd complaint to, “Put Christ back in Christmas,” also distracts us from our mission.
Recently, I saw a sign that read, “Put Christ back in Christian.” I think this better illustrates the real issue that is before us as Christian people.
Whenever I’m faced with a problems or issues, I try and imagine what Jesus would have me do. I can’t imagine him worried at all about whether people feel free to wish one another a Merry Christmas. You see, Christmas isn’t really about Jesus. I know that can be a hard idea for people to get their heads around. It is commonly thought that Jesus wasn’t even trying to start a new religion. He was trying to get people to follow the basic principles of already existing religious communities—things like love and mercy.
Jesus wasn’t trying to get people to worship himself, and it’s because he was trying to get all people to focus on a loving and merciful creator that we can truly proclaim him as the Saviour of the world. His goal wasn’t to just save the Jewish people, but to bring salvation to all people, and to all creation.
As followers of Jesus Christ—as people committed to his teaching of love and mercy, we are intent on freely worshipping God and making space for all people to worship as their tradition dictates. Imagine a world where all Christians, and Jews and Muslims; all Buddhists, all Hindus, all people of all faith were true to the basic common tenets of the Golden Rule.
My friends of other faiths happily wish me a Merry Christmas, and they mean it too. They happily receive the same salutation from me. And together, by being true to our faith, we make this world a happier and more joy-filled place. The challenge of my faith journey is to remain focused on the love God has for all people, for all creation.