I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas. In fact, this year my husband and I sang, “We wish you a Happy Hanukkah” to my Jewish neighbors while delivering cookies and presents.
But in that same neighborhood I couldn’t put up my nativity scene because last year someone stole my baby Jesus.
It wasn’t just that my neighbors needed Jesus, it’s that people are increasingly hostile toward Him – as evidenced by my walk around the block. I wished fellow neighbors a “Merry Christmas” and discovered the new “acceptable response” is silence and a mean look. I’m glad everyone is so concerned about not being offensive. I know it really brightened my day.
Then I came home for Christmas and watched a few of those “holiday” movies with the family. One after the other showed that it’s the belief in Santa that will save you. Ask him for what you want, and as long as you’re not naughty, you’ll get it. Or, as another movie demonstrated, one could wish upon a star, and the fiery ball of gas will deliver. As long as those “holiday movies” don’t mention anything about the Christ of Christmas, they’re apparently OK to air.
And now, I’m told they’ve done away with songs of the manger and are singing about Kwanzaa now in schools. I interviewed Marcia Segelstein on the Faith2Action radio program (that airs this week) and learned all about the holiday with its own greeting cards and postage stamp.
According to Segelstein, Kwanzaa has nothing to do with any December African harvest. It was invented in 1966 by a guy that didn’t think the Black Panthers were violent enough. Ex-convict Ron Karenga (now known as Dr. Maulana Karenga) helped found a radical anti-white organization and the brand new holiday of Kwanzaa. It’s purpose, as declared by the official Kwanzaa website (in 1999) is to “enhance the revolutionary social change for the masses of black Americans.” It suggests checking the skin color of the storeowner before shopping. How very nice. That’s enough to put anyone in the Christmas spirit.
Meanwhile, the atheists have come out of the woodwork to attack Christmas. From the statehouse manger scene in Washington state to the bus signs in Washington, D.C., people have become outright hostile toward God.
Rebellious hostile God-haters. It’s not just what we’ve become. It’s what we have always been. Yet, for some reason, God really loves us. But what we don’t seem to understand is how much He also really loves His only Son, Jesus. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”
Beth Moore, in her Bible study Breaking Free, points out that God only had one arrow in His quiver. “The most perfect arrow ever to exist. This arrow was a masterpiece, priceless to Him. Cherished far above all the hosts of heaven. Nothing could compare. His only heritage. His only Son. But as God looked on a lost world – desperate and needy and in the clutches of the enemy – His heart was overwhelmed. Though they had sinned miserably against Him and few sought Him, God had created them in love and could not love them less.
“Love reached sacrificially into the quiver and pulled forth the solitary arrow. The quiver would now be empty, His cherished arrow in the hands of hateful men. Yes, God so loved the world, but God also loved His only begotten Son with inexpressible, divine affection. The Divine dilemma: two loves. And one would demand the sacrifice of the other. Only one weapon could defeat the enemy of the soul – God’s arrow. He positioned the weapon, pulled back the bow, steadied His grip, aimed straight for the heart. ‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manager.’”(Luke 2:7)
And so we wouldn’t miss it, He gave us 300 clues about who Christmas is really about, beginning with:
- The messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4)
- From the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:33)
- Proceeded by a forerunner (Malachi 3:1; Luke 7:24, 27)
- To minister in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:13-16)
- Rejected by the Jews (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11)
- Triumphal entry on a donkey (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14)
- Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14)
- Accused by a false witness (Psalm 35:11; Mark 14:57)
- Spat on and struck (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)
- Pierced through hands and feet (Zechariah 12:10; Luke 23:35)
- Soldiers gambled for His clothes (Psalm 22:17-18; Matthew 27:35)
- None of His bones were broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-33, 36)
- Pierced through His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)
- Buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)
- Resurrected (Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 49:15; Mark 16:6)
One man fulfilled every single one of these prophecies and 285 more. It wasn’t Santa. His name is Jesus Christ.
God looked down on the rebellious hostile God-haters and kept His promise to rescue us anyway. Remember that next time you hear “happy holidays.”