This time of year is my absolute favorite: Christmas lights, snow, blanket snuggles, Christmas music, and not to mention the flavors of Christmas. I’m talking about the gingerbread, the cinnamon, the eggnog, the cloves… all that mouth-watering goodness. Those flavors are found in our greatest source of energy every morning too: in our hot, lovely coffee.
The coffee shop business has some of its best revenue in the cold months. This is not only because of the warming effects of the drinks, but all of those wonderful flavors that they fill them with! Why would I spend time making pumpkin pie when I can get my fix with a Pumpkin Latte?
This year, one of the coffee shops that provides these fixings has its customers, especially its Christian customers, in a bit of an uproar. This particular coffee shop has decided to dissociate itself from the Christian icons of Christmas, including the very word for the holiday itself. To many people, this is a big enough deal to remove themselves as a customer. It has been all over my Facebook, and quite frankly, this makes me sad. Why?
This movement of sorts got me to thinking: what if Christians became this passionate about something that wasn’t just a greeting? Think about it. Instead of protesting a company for neglecting 2 words from their greeting (“Merry Christmas”), what if they refused to let anyone go hungry in the Twin Cities this winter? If we used that energy (which ironically comes from the lattes for many of us) to change a life and not a greeting, imagine the potential of all those disciples.
I’ve also been thinking this: why are we letting these two words in a simple greeting be a source of our Christmas Spirit? Did I forget about that one time where Jesus said, “Go into the world, baptizing and saying Merry Christmas to everyone on my birthday”? No. He never said that. So where does our Christmas spirit come from? Does it come from holiday drinks, candles, Christmas lights, or blanket snuggles? If not these things, then where does our spirit come from? Where does our strength come from to help the homeless have food, or the orphan have a home? It comes from Christ.
Christ came into the world to redeem it, change it, but especially to love it. God so loved us that He sent this Son. As Mary looked into the manger and treasured the sight of her son, of God’s Son, little did she know that those tiny hands and tiny feet would be pierced for her; that they would be pierced for all. This tiny infant would change the world with His very loving presence, and He would change life for all eternity with His death and resurrection.
This Christmas, may you find your strength not in a greeting, but rather in tight wrappings of our Savior’s arms. Show the world what a truly Merry Christmas is like when Christ is the center of it.