Remember Herod? Great guy, right? Wrong. See, when the Wise Men arrived, looking for the king that had been born, Herod said, "Hey, this is great. I want to worship Him too. Tell me when you find Him, and I will come right away."
Well, the wise men weren't called wise for nothing. They did not tell Herod where to find Jesus, and he went about killing all the babies in the area in an effort to get rid of this child king and keep power.
What about today? Who worships Jesus today? Wise men, lowly workers (shepherds), angels of Heaven, you name it. We got them all. What about Herod? Is he still around.
Yes. His name is "Christmas Shopping."
No, really, hear me out. I buy gifts at Christmas, so I am not judging you for doing likewise. I just want to point out something that has never changed, when it comes to celebrating Christ's birth. Herod was there in the beginning, and he is still striving for power today.
What does a retail establishment want from you at Christmas time? Do they want you to tell them about Jesus so they can worship too? No. Of course not. No matter how many times they say Merry Christmas, what they want from you is money (money = power in America). Cold hard cash. Please, don't give that money to the poor. No! Come in here and give it to us. Don't spend more time with your kids. Instead, spend more time shopping for your kids, giving us your money.
Businesses want my money at Christmas time. Some of them get my money and some don't. I don't really care if they claim Jesus or not, because it doesn't change what they want from me or what I want from them (whatever my kid asked for this year). Show me a business that doesn't want money, and I will show you a closed business. I can't blame them for wanting my money. It's how they survive.
What I am saying, in this mess of my ranting, is this: Saying Merry Christmas doesn't make them a Christian establishment and not saying it doesn't make them an evil one. It simply doesn't matter. They want money. If they think saying Merry Christmas will make them more money, they'll say it. If they think NOT saying it will make them more money, they'll quit saying it. What's worse, AFA, not saying Merry Christmas or saying it because you know the Christians will give you more money when you do?
Jesus is not an Ad Campaign for crying out loud! Quit worrying so much about whether your grocery store cashier wishes you a Merry Christmas and worry a bit more about being merry and Christlike yourself.
This post is so all over the place, I must sound like a crazy person. But all the ridiculousness in the name of Jesus that shows up in December makes me a crazy person. Live like Jesus all year long and maybe more people will WANT to celebrate his birth.
Now, to shed these grouchy pants and find the happy ones.
PS Another good point, why say Merry Christmas when it isn't Christmas yet? It is Advent. Christmas begins on the 25th and lasts until Epiphany. For a much calmer take on this issue, visit John Leek.