“Sometimes the best evangelism is telling people you’re a Christian, and then not being a complete jerk.” – John Pavlovitz
This video from Joshua Feuerstein has gone über viral.
The 2015 “Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays” war has officially begun.
It’s not even mid November and we are already here.
This is not good news!
And neither is it, The Good News.
If the plan is to motivate Christians to defend the concept of Christmas and stand against the evil empires of this world, then follow Joshua’s leading.
But if the plan is to motivate Christians to win the world with the love of God and see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, then follow Jesus Christ.
I know Joshua is a good guy who loves God, his nation, the Christmas tradition and (obviously) coffee. He’s a family man and I believe his intentions to be good. He is passionate, influential and fully loaded.
But I believe there’s a higher message.
The actual message of Christmas.
That message was declared by the angels during the birth of the Messiah, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
All the people!
And “All the people” include the Jews and the Puerto Ricans, Americans and transvestites, Muslims and Starbucks baristas.
There is no war on Christmas. The war is for the heart of mankind.
I believe Jesus was born to love, serve and save the world. It’s clear in Scripture (and evident in our own lives.)
I also believe Jesus was not born to defend Christian concepts and agendas. Actually, the “culture war” Jesus fought was against religious institutions and overbearing spirituality. And in one of the most difficult passages to read in the Bible (Matthew 23), He told the religious leaders of his time, a truth we all need to hear today, “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.” (Read More)
There is more than just believing in the name of Jesus. We need to believe in the ways of Jesus.
Jesus the friend of sinners. Jesus who died for his enemies. Jesus who healed the sick. Jesus who feed the poor. Jesus who never threw a stone.
His ways are best.
And we get to duplicate.
The world doesn’t read the Bible, they read us. Buck Parson
I can almost guarantee (and I could be completely wrong about this), that the last thing Jesus cares about during this winter season is whether we say Merry Christmas or not.
I can almost guarantee (and I’m pretty sure I’m right on this one at least), that the first thing Jesus cares about this winter season is for the homeless to have a warm shelter. For families to be restored and connected. For the lonely to be invited into our homes on the 25th.
For you and me and Joshua Feuerstein to encounter grace and be empowered to share it with those who need it most.
So instead of listening to Joshua or reading me, let’s all accept the invitation from the King-Savior-Teacher:
Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus in Matthew 7:12
So whatever you wish Starbucks would do to you, do also to them.
And whatever you want ______________ to do to you, do also to them.
Or as Paul said in Romans 12:10, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Trust me, I love Christmas! I love the songs, the smells and over eating Santa’s cookies.
As believers we can sing our carols and dress our kids as Mary and Joseph and spend a month and a half celebrating the incarnation.
But in the spirit of the true Christmas (and the word Christmas means: the festival of Christ) let’s not turn this feast into a war.
Because the birth of Jesus marked the end of the us vs. them mentality.
The truth is that we are all sinners. We all need a Savior. And we are all welcomed to His birthday celebration.
So Merry Christmas, Joshua Feuerstein.
Happy Holidays, Starbucks.
Happy Hanukkah, Jesus.
Glory to God and peace on earth.
Next time we see each other in Starbucks… instead of defending Christmas, let’s demonstrate the ways of Christ together.
* Share this invitation of grace with your friends and let’s make love louder than the rants.
What are your thoughts? Are you pro Merry Christmas? Cool with Happy Holidays? Comment below
Read more on God’s extravagant love for you (and the broken) in:
“Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.”
Brian Zahnd in Beauty Will Save The World