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Devotionals 2005

Of Holidays and Trees
December 6, 2005By Ed Wrather


And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:2.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. - 1 Corinthians 2:12.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. - 1 Corinthians 3:19a.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. - Ephesians 2:1-3.

(See also: Philippians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:7-9; 2 Timothy 4:12; James 1:27; James 4:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Peter 2:20; 1 John 2:14-17; 1 John 3:13; 1 John 4:4-6; and, 1 John 5:4-5.)

Happy Holidays!! Or, would you prefer "Merry Christmas!!" I hope you do read the rest because there is currently a controversy about the use of the greeting, "Happy Holidays," instead of the traditional, "Merry Christmas." Wal-Mart and Target are persisting in their directives to employees to use the greeting "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas." Lowes was selling "Holiday Trees," however; they have now decided that their trees are actually, "Christmas trees." At Auburn University, their Christmas tree ban was initiated with a Christmas tree burning. Now they only have Holiday trees. Also, this Christmas season there is a new type of Christmas tree, an upside down tree. The reasoning behind this tree by one retailer is described this way, "The inverted shape makes it easier to see ornaments which hang away from the dense needles, allowing more room for the accumulation of presents underneath."

(Updating 2013: It is unknown what the current employee policies are for Wal-Mart and Target although I have yet to hear the words "Merry Christmas" from an employee of any business this year. However, it may all change as we are closer to the 25th of December. I do know that Texas has passed a law making it legal for individuals to say "Merry Christmas." Seems strange in a country that has free speech guaranteed in Consitution to need a law making it legal.... The war on Christmas does appear to be ongoing from current news reports.)

It does appear that our Christmas traditions are under greater attack this year than ever before. The world is offended by the mere mention of the word, "Christmas." The world demands that Christmas in every form be expunged from our vocabulary and symbols. The upside down Christmas tree is so innocuous and yet it represents the insidiousness of the attack of the world upon all of Christianity.

For some the upside down cross is just as innocent as that of the upside down Christmas tree and is a symbol of humility. This is based upon the apostle Peter’s reported refusal (according to tradition) to be crucified in the same manner of Christ preferring to be crucified upside down. However, for those of the world and the forces of evil the upside down cross is an emblem of Satanism. According to exposingsatanism.org the upside down cross, "Symbolizes mockery and rejection of Jesus. Necklaces are worn by many satanist's." There is also proliferation of occult stores and websites selling a wide selection of upside down crosses. If you do your own search on Google, or another search engine, you will find a massive amount of similar information. The world has appropriated the upside down cross as its anti-Christian symbol. My point? I believe there is a similar symbolism that the world wishes to portray with the upside down Christmas tree.

Christmas is under attack there can be no doubt about that. The question for us is whether or not we will be conformed to the will of the world. Or, will we seek the wisdom of the Spirit of God for the renewing of our minds rejecting the spirit and wisdom of this world? This Christmas we really do have a choice and the privilege of being His witnesses. It may result in persecution, and it may result in ridicule but what joy in being counted worthy to follow in the footsteps of our Lord!

Merry Christmas!!

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