Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas w/o Christ is ... Un"Reason"able

If I were sitting down to write about the top five places to pick up a nativity for your front yard this Christmas, I would be finished… right about …now.

So at New Venture, we’re doing an “Assignment America” blitz to place a disappearing CHRISTmas at the top of our social media headlines for all the world to see. This Christmas season, wherever you find reflections of Him, grab your digital devices and snap it. Capture it on your smartphones, cameras, tablets, iPads, and post it on Facebook, Tweet it or Instagram it. I'll get you started with one of my own, snapped of my neighbor's driveway down the hill from us: A four or maybe five foot Cross of Christmas Lights.
That’s the assignment, here’s the why: At New Venture, we’ve been talking for a few months about how to start digging out from the pile of rubbish trying to diminish or even delete Our Mighty God – ways to Awaken a Sleeping Giant, whether that’s God’s global Church or our individual witness as Christians. Nowhere, and at no time of year is this “deletion” more apparent than at what is SUPPOSED to be the season of His birth.

I heard one of our staff members was out with a family member looking for a nativity and came home empty handed. They said they found inflatable seals and penguins, Ferris Wheels, plenty of North Pole gear, but no baby Jesus, away in a manger. Plenty of poinsettias, and things my wife loves like glittery ribbons or twinkly lights, and boxes of fake snow (sorry Northeast, we order ours boxed in San Diego). But no O Holy Night was stirring, not even a mouse. You can have a Happy Holidays in a million ways, but if you want to celebrate a Merry Christmas, you’re going to have to hit Home Depot and make it a D.I.Y. XMAS.

What about Christmas cards? Those are more likely to show the Spirit of the season – IF you’re looking for Hanukkah, Kwanza or “safe” nondescript blessings of goodwill and peace on earth. Otherwise, it’s pretty slim out there. Wal Mart actually comes out the winner here with several Christian Christmas Cards with Scriptures and other nods to the God of the Bible, the Word Become Flesh. Target had few in the beginning. Barnes and Noble will bury you in stacks and stacks of Surfin’ Santas, winter wonderlands, a Happy Owl-idays (with a Christmas Owl?!), and off-color options. I don’t know how we got from the miracle of a Messiah, “born that man no more may die,” to celebrating His birth with cards you wouldn’t send to a minor. But we’re there.

And the count of any of the above drops to an appalling zero when we narrow the question to how much “CHRISTmas” have you seen in public areas like parks, malls, stores? Nativities are being kicked off military bases left and right and barely covered in the news. The Mt. Soledad Cross was ruled against in the 9th District Court days before this writing (more about that in the Sleeping Giant blog), and ordered taken down in 90 days. Christmas parades are banned in select cities around the nation including Santa Barbara and Encinitas … right here at home.

Instagramming the nearest nativity is not going to turn our country back into One Nation Under God, or put Christmas back on the public map. But it’s a start, and at the very least, as Christians, we’ll be drawing near to Him this year, stirring up the conversation, and making sure that the nations hear that Christ was born in Bethlehem, and in our hearts. Go tell it on the mountain…over the hills, and Mt. Soledad, and military bases, and wireless hotspots – and everywhere.


  1. Things like that happen during Christmas but this year I am prepared. I looked for nativity scene online, print them out and created a 2D scene in one corner of our living room, beside our tree. As for cards, I also create through Photoshop and insert christian Christmas messages on them. Problem solved :)

  2. Annewalker that is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!! If you're on Facebook would love to see photo. ("Problem Solved." ... I love it!) God bless you and all those keeping God first this Christmas.Hope you have a blessed one!