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Still no room...

by Pastor Jaynan Clark Egland (President, WordAlone Network)

December 23, 2003

There are only a couple of “winter” programs left for me to attend as a parent. I’ve been to “winter concerts,” “winter parties” and “winter celebrations.” Apparently we don’t do Christmas any longer. My children recognize that Santa makes the grade; flying reindeer with or without red shiny noses are acceptable; Frosty is a great guy—though a bit cold—but there is no room for Jesus. After all, we could offend someone if we called our festive moments a “Christmas party” and, for goodness sake, no singing about mangers or a little tiny baby born in Bethlehem.

There is a popular song on the radio around here, entitled, “Christmas in the Northwest.” It is beautiful and very accurate in its description of “God’s country,” which we live in and enjoy out here in the state of Washington with the mountains and the ponderosa pines dressed in white for a backdrop. They sing about God’s gift of green, referring of course to our endless forests of firs and pines of many varieties. So “Christmas” would be about life and the color of life—green. Well, we are getting a bit closer, I guess.

I came across a poem descriptively named “Politically Correct Santa.” I wish I could attach it here for your reading enjoyment but copyrights won’t allow for that. The gist and jest of it are that even Santa is left confused and impotent in this world of political correctness. To not offend anyone . . . to include everyone . . . and acknowledging the understood moratorium on holding any basic truths—unless they are shared by all—makes even gift giving impossible. What, after all, is appropriate? Christmas is a problem, it seems.

Winter is to be celebrated. Kwanzaa is okay to explore and, surprisingly enough, it seems Hanukkah also is acceptable. My children learn about the menorah and make dreidels and play related games and sing appropriate songs. Perhaps someone missed the religious significance of that celebration? Or is it just “Jesus” who’s the problem? He just doesn’t fit in today’s “P.C.” world. Of course, He didn’t fit into His own world either, did He?

I’m beginning to think that “P.C.” doesn’t denote “politically correct” but rather pre-Christian. Though we speak of being in a post-modern, post-Christian era, look around yourselves, especially at this time of the year and ask, “Were we ever a Christian society?” To be post-Christian would be to assume that “Christian” was once the norm. But the visible and audible evidence witnesses to a world that is still waiting for its Savior, a world that still needs to hear the Christmas story for a first, grace-filled time.

It’s not just today’s world, it is the world itself that still would serve up John’s head on a platter, still have no room at the inn, still crucify and bury Jesus, still martyr the 12 disciples—because “Christ” doesn’t fit the world. Jesus Christ cannot and will not conform to this world but chooses only to transform it, one believer at a time. Santa isn’t the man for the job and Frosty can’ take the heat . . . so warm up all those “winter celebrations” by retelling the Christmas story to a pre-Christian, cold and needy world that still needs to hear it whether its people want to or not.

“Be still and know that I am God,” whispers the baby in the manger born this day in Bethlehem for you!