There’s a bumper sticker that you’ve probably seen, “Put Christ back in Christmas.” Conservatives started using it as a response to their perception that we’ve lost out moral fabric and succumbed to liberal political correctness police by taking Christ out of Christmas when we say “Happy Holidays.”
As one who considers Christ as the bedrock of my life, I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas if it means recognizing all people are beloved, cherished children of God – even if their skin color, faith tradition, country of origin, and cultural practices are different than their’s.
I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas if it means accepting the humility of Christ by loving those considered unlovable, serving the those who considered unfit to be served, giving sanctuary to those fleeing persecution, war, or hostility.
I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas if it means understanding that proclaiming the gospel without demonstrating God’s love through service and social justice is just hollow words that mean nothing.
I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas if it means we’re more concerned about the mission, and not the institution, of the church.
I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas if it means our lives are living sacrifices poured out for others as Christ himself poured out his life so that we might live.
I’m all for returning to the purpose of Christmas back to Jesus Christ. I’m all for giving myself over anew to the way of Christ. If we really want to put Christ back in Christmas, maybe we ought to begin by doing what John the Baptizer called on people to do before Jesus came into the world the first time: Repent. To repent means to turn, and then to turn again, and again and again, to God. It is to turn to the kind of life we know we ought to be living.
The extent to which we are able to give ourselves over to Jesus is the extent to which we enter the kingdom of heaven in this life. And the only way we can abide in it is by turning, and turning, and turning again to Christ. That’s what it means to put Christ back in Christmas. Anything less is just Happy Holidays.