Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Glimmer of Freedom this Christmas

In this hour where a bitter debate rages on Christianity's right to play a role in our American culture, the little things this holiday season seem so sweet.

Statements of "Merry Christmas!" greetings from the guy in the coffee shop drive through window. The local greenhouse billboard out front sends "Merry Christmas!" regards to passengers on a very busy highway. Or, the carolers driving from afar to support the nativity scene at the State Capitol and taking time to use music to bless those bustling about the capital city.

It isn't the big things I look for, but the little things that mean so much. I love when little children who recognize the reason for the season is not the man in the red suit, but the babe in the manger. The friends who celebrate when money was given in their honor to needy individuals in another country. TV News stations that bypass the cry for political correctness and tweet "Merry Christmas" wishes to twitter followers. Thrills of some being able to give to those who would go without this holiday season if not for their last minute labors of generosity.

The freedom to express our religion and beliefs, and the freedom to give of ourselves to Whom and how we want, has been taken for granted for decades. Now, just the acknowledgment of Merry Christmas has been thrown into the political correctness arena. And eager embraces of religious phrases and ideas pertaining to the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our nation are urged to silence. Regularly assumed actions that speak of individual liberty are now - sadly - second guessed.

I never knew a Christmas yard sign, a volunteer's boisterous voice singing Christmas carols at the Salvation Army's red kettle, or an elected official including a scripture on his family Christmas card - could mean so much. In this hour with the battle to maintain our religious freedoms, comes a greater awareness of their significance and presence. And too I believe for some (not necessarily examples noted above, but in general) there exists a greater desire to readily pro-claim them because these sentiments are personal convictions.

It is the small, and big, things that display people's acknowledgment of the important things, the real things, the truth. That Christ is the reason for the season and therefore Merry Christmas is very appropriate to say. That our faith is of such intricate importance that we want to share it when and how we can. And, that this season is joyful if but for one reason only: this season's demonstrations resemble the heart of a Father who sent His Son to join us on earth for a little while, so we could be with Him for all eternity.

Merry Christmas. Jesus is, always has been, and always will be the reason for this season. May we never grow tired of proclaiming it, and working to preserve the freedom that allows us to exude it.