In a few short days the weapons of warfare will be packed away. Lawns and rooftops will be emptied of all those decorations and lovingly packed away, preparing for next year’s battle. But for now, there’s an eleven month truce in “The War on Christmas.” After today, store clerks won’t need to worry silently whether they are offending others by saying either “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays;” now, “Happy New Year” will suffice. The battle lines drawn every year that create tension between Christians, Christians and non-Christians dissolve, and we can all get along together without worrying about offending each other.
I understand the concerns of those who want to “keep Christ in Christmas.” We focus on whether people use the right greeting words and deal with those whose sole goal in life is to protect the world from the influence of nativity scenes in the marketplace. We fight back by reminding those folks that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” with teeth gritted in full attack mode. We are aghast at those who would not only take the baby Jesus out of Christmas, but even kick out jolly old Saint Nick. But there’s a problem there. While many respected leaders call this time “The War on Christmas,” we must remember that it is the “Battle of Christmas;” if it is even that. We are in a deeper, longer lasting war. It is a battle that is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual evil. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Our war is not against those who say “Happy Holidays,” or seek to ban Nativity Scenes in the public square. Perhaps, our insistence on saying the right words or allowing Nativity Scenes may influence some people the right way; but isn’t it paradoxical to use the idea of “Peace on Earth” as a club with which to batter those who don’t think the same way we do? Our war is against the spiritual forces of evil. Do they wage war during the Christmas season? Of course. They war against belief in Christ every day of the year. If we confine our concerns, our war, to Christmas, we are losing eleven months out of the year and allowing the enemy to gain progress; progress that can’t be rolled back in one month of a Battle for Christmas.
It is time to take the battle out of Christmas and fight the war that is set before us. Our weapons, however are not material. Our weapons are peace, righteousness, truth, faith, and most of all, the word of God. Each day we must live under the grace of God and reflect His love towards others. Yes, we need to show the love of Christ during Christmas. But even more so, we need to take the message of Christ to a hostile world the other 364 days as well. We must remember that our battle is not against those people who attack us, but against the spiritual forces that are guiding them. We are engaged against those forces in a battle for the lives of those who would attack us. Like Jesus on the cross, our words and our thoughts must say, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We must love others into the kingdom 365 days a year. So by all means, have a Merry Christmas. But let the love of Christ flow through you today and every day of the year. The war continues. We must not grow weary.