One of the things I look forward to every year is Christmas shopping. I know…sounds strange to hear a guy say that…but it’s true! It is something I have always enjoyed. When we began having children, it became even more enjoyable to me! I thoroughly enjoy taking an evening where my wife and I can go shopping together for our kids, as well as enjoy a nice dinner together. It is fun for me to imagine the face of my children when they open the gift I am buying…even when it is a silly gift, such as a box of Twinkies. Yes…I have been known to do such things! But, over the last couple of years, some of the joy of Christmas shopping has dwindled for me as an aspect of the experience has been lost. The aspect that I am speaking of is the offensive Christmas music.
Wait…is this a rant against Christmas music that speaks of Santa? Is this a rant against the modernization of classic Christmas hymns? Not at all. In fact, to be honest, I am bothered very little by those things. What I am bothered by is what has been lost. And what has been lost is the offensive Christmas music! I am speaking of Christmas songs such as “Joy to the World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, or “O Holy Night”. When was the last time you heard these songs playing in a store while you shopped in December? Songs such as these or any song that speaks of Christ is simply too offensive for our culture these days. They cross a line that simply cannot be tolerated due to their offensive nature of mentioning Jesus. Now Christmas music rarely plays in the stores aside from a few songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. Let’s be honest, how many Christmas songs are there really apart from Jesus? The list becomes quite short if you remove Christmas songs that mention Christ.
Once again, we see that our modern culture’s mantra of tolerance is a one-way street. It means Christians have to tolerate all that the culture throws at us, but we ourselves cannot be tolerated. In the name of tolerance, Christmas music is out. It can’t be tolerated in our culture of tolerance. Thus, there is an aspect of the Christmas shopping that has been lost for me. This makes me sad. I really enjoyed shopping for gifts while hearing music in the background that spoke of the greatest gift ever given! Last night, while Christmas shopping, I had to listen a Christmas song that repeated over and over again, “Last Christmas I gave you my heart…the next day you gave it away.” Oh yeah…that really stokes the fires of the Christmas spirit!
But, as I thought and reflected on this issue, something became apparent to me. While the years in our culture where it was okay for stores to play Christmas music was a blessing, it really isn’t their job to proclaim Christ. We can get upset and offended that they refuse to play any Christmas music about Christ, but that was never their role in the first place. It’s ours. The culture is going to go the way of the culture. Thus, as the culture goes, so will go their music. It grieves me that I can’t shop for Christmas and hear Christmas music about Christ. But the music of Christ is my job and the job of my fellow Christians.
Just consider the words from I Peter 2:9: “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” Our culture went through some decades of playing Christmas music about Christ, but it couldn’t last. They are not the people of God! But woe is us if we fail to proclaim the praises of God who called us out of darkness into His light! It is our job to proclaim Christ this Christmas!
So, fill your home, your car, or your office with Christmas music that speaks of Christ! Let the words be heard from your lips as you shop in the store. Tell the cashier “Merry Christmas” when they tell you “Happy Holidays”. Come to church and sing with joy of the meaning of Christmas! It is our job to proclaim Christ and so let us joyfully proclaim it!