My entire point is that the Christmas Season has nothing to do with WHEN Christ was born, it has to do with the whole message of the Bible. The gift of salvation available to those believing in God through Jesus Christ.
Religion is the ritual of worship. It is made up of all of the symbols used in worship. It is candles, robes, words, silence, music and everything else. Faith is the relationship you choose to have with the divine. Some seem to confuse the two. Religion tells you what to do. Faith tells you why to do it.
It doesn’t matter if you own a lot of crosses, or how often you go to church. You can practice religion but not have faith. Faith is something you have to find on your own. You won’t find it IN the symbols. It can’t be measured in a science lab. However, that doesn’t mean that faith doesn’t exist in the absence of the symbols. It also doesn’t mean that it has to be proven in a science lab to be real. It’s faith. It’s intangeable. It’s a relationship. It isn’t there for someone to prove or disprove.
There is no war being waged against Christianity here. The symbols that Christianity has adopted are being reviewed and questioned because we are at a time where people are looking for their faith. Even those who are Christian (70% of the population according to the census) are still searching to some extent. The fact that the holiday symbols are being treated as faith itself, instead of the objects they really are tells me that people are spiritually thirsting. Not even Rev. Jerry Falwell has figured this one out….nor has Pat Robertson. Riling up the masses with the ‘us vs. them’ message is not only short-sighted,it is the wrong approach. It doesn’t work in politics either, yet we seem to be condemned to a democracy-crushing polarization as of late.
The bottom line is that the external practice of religion is what makes the season seem very hollow. People let themselves worry about the little stuff more than focussing on the big picture. It also makes it easier to treat others with less respect than they deserve. It doesn’t matter what you have hanging on your front porch or what’s in your town square. It is what you have in your heart.