Do We Really Have to Save Christmas?
Have you ever noticed how many Christmas shows involve the Christmas that almost wasn’t? One of the earliest “no Christmas” near misses occurred in that discouraging line from Santa in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: “Christmas is going to be cancelled!”
Since then, it seems Santa and Christmas Day have had to be rescued more times than Congress has left our nation’s capital without passing a budget.
Sorry. Let’s just say it’s a wonder Santa has stayed employed considering how many times he has nearly let Christmas slip through his fingers.
“Saving Christmas” has more than one meaning, depending on the context.
It might involve an extraordinary effort to carry on a family tradition. Or a campaign to raise money for a family that has been left homeless at Christmastime.
As a church leader, I have participated in more Christmas programs than I can count. I remember a few times we had to pray for God to save us due to an unprecedented number of sick participants or threatening weather.
But Christmas came anyway.
It always does, with or without us.
While Dr. Seuss doesn’t specifically define the meaning of Christmas in his book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, he is spot-on when he writes, “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Perhaps Christmas, in its man-made form, needs to be rescued. But God’s redemptive plan, revealed in the person of His Son Jesus, doesn’t.
Not that it hasn’t been at risk.
The long trip to Bethlehem could have led to a miscarriage.
The conditions in the animal stall could have caused an infection.
Herod tried to kill Jesus.
But the first Christmas was never really in trouble because it was the “fulness of time” (Galatians 4:4). And when God decides its time, nothing can stop Him.
I love the Christmas traditions our culture honors, and I will continue to celebrate them whole-heartedly. However, I will not worry when Santa faces his next crisis. I’ve seen it all before and Christmas always comes regardless.
That’s because Christmas means a “little bit more.”
Actually, a lot more.