As our society becomes increasingly secular, it seems that celebrations of the birth of our Savior are less and less popular. At one time, it was common for cities and towns to have a Christmas tree and Christmas display. Then, due to “separation of church and state,” the displays had to be secular somehow and involve various other celebrations.
While I’ve decried that trend editorially, I don’t really expect the secular government to display Christmas symbols. I think churches and private individuals should do it. A few churches do, but most don’t. In fact, several years ago I wrote an editorial on this topic saying we should take the initiative to display Christian symbols at this wonderful happy time of year.
I decided I should practice what we preach. So we replaced the small, lighted navity scene that we used for years in front of our home with some large commercial-grade figures we found online. Because they are pretty costly, we bought only Mary, Joseph and the Christ child to start. Each year, we’d add one or two.
We now have quite a display, complete with a star that we hang on the house. Several of our Jewish neighbors have commented how they know that Christmas is around the corner when we put up our display after Thanksgiving. Last week, one of our Jewish neighbors emailed me saying she enjoyed our Christmas lights.
That prompted me to put a comment on Twitter and Facebook, along with this photo. I got quite a response. So, I thought I’d share it with the readers of my Strang Report.
It’s a small thing, to be sure. I understand that while three of the Gospels tell the story of Christ’s birth, nowhere in Scripture are we told to celebrate His birth. It grew out of a Roman Catholic tradition to have “Christ’s mass” to counter the pagan celebrations of the beginning of winter.
But it’s part of our culture now. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the entire world to consider how God became man and came to earth. And of course its message of “Peace on earth, goodwill to man” is a message we need now more than ever.
I’m trying to build up my “following” as part of my becoming comfortable with this new social media world. Help me by forwarding this and also adding your own comments. I’d like to know if you agree and if you also light up your yard. Maybe you can post your own photos on Facebook.