“Look, Mom!” Lydia jabbed a finger at the car window, toward the church sign on the south edge of town. I snapped a picture with my phone:
“God doesn’t have a son named X.”
I lobbed my Amen into the space between me and my daughters.
Indeed! Yessiree! That’s what I thought. We celebrate Christ-mas, not X-mas. No Xs here, where Christ belongs. I raised a defiant fist in agreement.
I thought that sign was mighty clever, I tell you. So clever, that the words became my Facebook status last night.
Then, a friend on my Facebook page led me gently to this post, written by R.C. Sproul. I clicked on over to read what that little X might really mean:
I’m stilling mulling what Sproul wrote: “First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.”
I think it’s easy for me to get offended about this whole Christ-in-Christmas thing. I can get downright defensive. Every year, I see the call on billboards and bumper stickers to “put Christ back into Christmas.” And I add my voice to the battle cry.
In our home, we keep the focus, as they say, on “The Reason for The Season.” Jesus is central to our December — and also to the other 11 months of the year.
But what if I didn’t really need to work so hard to make sure the rest of the world “kept Christ in Christmas?” Is my battle cry helpful? And what if I acknowledged that, based on the truth of who God is, it is utterly impossible to take Him out?
Who has the power to remove Holy God from all that He has dominion over? Might I lower my defiant little fist, and bow a knee instead?
Love came down at Christmas. Love — actually and physically — came down to Earth.
Love split open the cosmos, whirling onto the scene in the most paradoxically explosive and peace-filled moment in the history of humankind. Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth. O night divine!
In one giant game-changing move — for the sake of those who hungered — He stepped out of the throne room and into a feed trough.
For us, He became one of us.
And all of Heaven held its breath at Love’s first cry, while a star twinkled in the eastern sky, a beacon of Hope to a forlorn world.
Love was birthed. Someone can try to draw an X over my Savior’s name if they want to, but they cannot X out history.
Love happened. Period.
Love was born, and has been shaking the world back to life and freedom for 2,000-some years.
Here’s the truth: The world could outlaw the word Christmas, and still, Christ cannot be separated from it. Even the stones would cry out, if every hymn book on the planet were glued shut.
There’s nothing that can separate us from Christ’s love. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither height nor depth, nor Santa Claus or Xs, or eggnog or metallic wrapping paper, neither the Grinch nor Ebenezer Scrooge, neither Lalaloopsy nor Xbox, neither commercialization nor WalMart or anything else in all creation (or inside any mega-mall), will be able to separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
(But. While I know that Xmas doesn’t X out Jesus, I’m still rather partial to Merry Christmas. So that’s what I’ll be wishing you this December. 🙂 )
Your turn… Does the X in Xmas concern you? What do you think of Sproul’s commentary on the X in Xmas? How do we practically “keep” Christ in Christmas?
(Photo by Lydia Lee)
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