The removal of Nativity scenes.
“Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
A red coffee cup from Starbucks.
As a follower of Jesus, none of this bothers me.
Whether people know it or not, they are participating in the most widely recognized birthday on earth. Society has its religiously neutral observances, but lights, joy, and gifts are echoes of the biggest party in the world. Even atheists and pagans acknowledge the birthday of the Bethlehem boy (although reluctantly and in disbelief).
Citizens of the first century A.D. missed the birth that upended the world. A couple dozen people were aware of the peculiar delivery of an infant in a barn. Today the stock market pauses in observance.
Huston Smith was a world-renowned authority on the history of religions. In his book, The World’s Religions, he eloquently captures the monumental influence of Jesus the Christ:
“Christianity is basically a historical religion. That is to say, it is not founded on abstract principles but in concrete events, actual historical happenings.
The most important of these is the life of a Jewish carpenter who, as has often been pointed out, was born in a stable, was executed as a criminal at age thirty-three, never traveled more than ninety miles from his birthplace, owned nothing, attended no college, marshaled no army, and instead of producing books did his only writing in the sand.
Nevertheless, his birthday is kept across the world and his death day sets a gallows against almost every skyline.”
Bring out the cake and candles, the food and drink. The King is born! Merry Christmas!