Whatever happened to the ” War on Christmas?” It was only a few years ago, when Christians were insisting that we put “Christ” back into Christmas. What happened to the carols being sung during the holidays, the manger scenes in public places, and all the Christmas programs in the public schools? It seems that Santa Claus himself might disappear in the next couple of years. A recent Pew study found that 52% of respondents said it did not matter what kind of holiday greeting was used by people or businesses, and only 32% said they prefer to be greeted with “Merry Christmas.”
There is no better example of how our culture is losing the memory of the Christian story in the public consciousness, then the loss of “Merry Christmas.” Earlier this month, President Trump declared in a speech, “Remember I said we’re bringing Christmas back? Christmas is back, bigger and better than ever before….We’re bringing Christmas back and we say it now with pride…… Merry Christmas to everybody.” He has often said, “we will by saying Merry Christmas again.” But I am afraid the memory of a Merry Christmas is fast fading from our public consciousness, to the delight of the secularists.
The New York Times reported The Pew study, “found that while a vast majority of Americans still celebrate Christmas, most find the religious elements of the holiday are emphasized less than in the past – and few of them care about that change.” 56% of Americans believe that the religious elements of Christmas are emphasized less now than they were in the past, but only 32% say that development bother then either “a lot” or “some.” Today 55% of Americans say they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, including 46% who see it as more of a religious holiday than a culture holiday and 9% who celebrate Christmas as both a religious and cultural occasion.
Speaking to church leaders, Marc Pugliese, a Christian educator, observed “…..Christmas is being watered down by everything that’s happening in the culture…..If they (church leaders) want their people to know what Christmas is about, then they are going to have to teach them that and find ways for parents to teach that to their children.”
When the narrative of Scripture fades from our cultural memory, it becomes the responsibility of the family and the church to tell the story. The lose of Christmas is a “wake up” call to Christian fathers. The leaders of the Reformation saw the need of people regaining a biblical view of life. They wrote catechisms as instruction aids for the home. Luther believed that the home was the best place for such instruction and therefore urged parents to catechize their children. Later this practice became known as instituting a ” Home Altar.”
I want to be an encouragement to young fathers reading this blog. If you have not established a regular pattern of family devotions in your family, do so for the sake of your children. Your witness and concern for their “soul life” will speak volumes, since no one else watches out for their souls.
God reminded the people of Israel of the need to keep the memory of the Exodus alive in the hearts of their children. “When you enter the land which God will give you as he promised keep doing this. And when your children say to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell then: “It’s the Passover sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when he hit Egypt with death but rescued us” (Ex. 12:25-27 – Message). When your kids ask about Christmas, tell them the true story.