Our Town recently hung new banners for the Christmas season. We use banners in our downtown area throughout the various seasons and special days of the year.
This year’s Christmas banners invited passersby to “Believe in the magic of Christmas.” Reactions to such a phrase could swing between the dismissive to the outright hostile.
It isn’t too far a stretch, though, to apply the idea of magic to a Christian view of the holiday. It might even open some doors of conversation to share the Hope we have as we near the end of a frightful year.
A Religious Response
One gut reaction to the phrase is to put down the idea of magic as a secular view of Christmas. The large, full color image of a happy Santa over the phrase might not help any.
Some Christians might be quick to dismiss both the “magic” and the guy in the red suit. “Christmas has nothing to do with Santa.” “Magic is satanic. Don’t associate it with the birth of Jesus.” “You need to get some CHRIST in your Christmas.“
A “religious” response is one which comes out as condemnation and judgment. It doesn’t seek any common ground, only to pull the other side to what is considered right. I wonder if responses like this actually result in folks having less of Christ and the Church in their Christmas.
A Receptive Response
Another response would be to receive the idea of magic and Santa and jump in, cannonball style. To focus on the lights, classic tunes, and movies of the season.
Most people who receive and join along with the idea experience high times of joy and enjoyment when the right pieces fit together. A holiday party at work, special services or concerts or productions at church and school, or Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra on the radio.
But the in-between times can feel empty and dark. “I want it to feel like Christmas.” When the presents are opened and the much smaller Christmas Day gatherings are over this year, as the world flips into New Year’s mode, what will they take with them?
A Remarkable Response
What if, instead of focusing on being religious or grabbing hold of everything Santa and mainstream, we decided to take a completely different understanding of the phrase: Believe in the magic of Christmas.
One of Merriam-Webster‘s definitions of “magical” is “extremely or extraordinarily pleasant, enjoyable, or exciting.” I don’t know about you, but that is what I want my Christmas to be. Extreme. Extraordinary. Exciting. The Christian view of Christmas is all of these and more.
Today is the First day of December. Christmas is only a few heartbeats away, but we need to be mindful of how we are representing Christ in this season. Especially here in 2020.
The world is in need of hope, joy, love, peace, and life. Christmas is full of these. It is also immensely supernatural and exciting.
Join me over the next few weeks as we reveal the Magic of Christmas. Let it lighten your heart. Use it to build a bridge to those whose lives are desperate for more than religious platitudes and Bible thumping. Let’s help those who need Jesus find Him.