Holiday or Holy Day?

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With the Christmas holiday a few short weeks away, excitement is definitely building for this special time of year. Today I thought I would share an observation about what I am seeing and hearing leading up to Christmas Day.

For Christians, the Christmas holiday means Holy Day. Though we also enjoy the festivities in varying degrees that accompany the celebration and are in line with our personal convictions, we also recognize its true meaning.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NJV)

Each year bring challenges to public expressions of the reason for the season. Even though Christmas Day was declared an official United States federal holiday in 1870, we know that there will be those who will take offense and target any display with religious significance. Like the Nativity scene, for instance. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear of cities and towns being threatened with lawsuits over any religious-themed, holiday display.

But now there seems to be a shift in the public’s response. Take the residents of Wadena, Minnesota, for example.

After a threat from one particular atheist group, the decision was made by the town council to remove a Nativity scene that had been on display in their local park for many decades. It certainly looked like the Grinch had his way.

But just like the Dr. Seuss classic, there would be a different ending.

Supporters of the nativity display decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead of one display on public property, the result is hundreds of displays on private properties with the goal of setting a new record of over 2500 Nativity displays. The result? All through the community, Nativity scenes are everywhere.

And that’s not all.

Some of the townspeople have taken an additional step and rented an area in the park to display a Nativity scene for the Christmas season. They set it up every morning and tear it down every night. Legally…respectfully…decisively…boldly.

This should encourage every Christian to publicly stand for what they believe. The Christmas season is not about the latest blockbuster release, the latest electronic gadget, or the latest blowout sale. It’s about the Babe in the manger, who became Savior of the world. Let each one of us stand and share the Good News, remembering whom we celebrate and all He has done for us.

After all, He is the reason for this Holy season.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (NKJV)