Thursday, December 21, 2017

a salvo of Merry Christmases!

The Word for today:
Psalm 38
Stand in the Rain very seldom departs from the script(ure), but we thought it appropriate to convey the most remarkable Merry Christmases that we have ever heard…
We must say, before we begin, that there are far more significant issues in the kingdom of God than the form our greetings take. Frankly, we all have bigger fish to fry.
But make no mistake: greetings are a telling detail; while in and of themselves they don't amount to much, they accurately gauge the prevailing cultural winds.
I'm not quite sure what I just saw, but it may have been a turning of the tide.
I'm no historian, so I don't know when our long retreat began. But I know what I have seen -- that since I reached the age of awareness, a dreary and incessant parade has passed before my eyes.
It was the sad and slow attrition of faith. By any measure, in any field -- legislation, adjudication, education, you name it -- the forces of faith have been in retreat across this land that we call home.
It has not been a willing retreat. Certainly it has not been the hasty retreat that we saw in Europe, where Christianity raised the white flag long ago.
But last night, I saw a reversal. I don't know if it will last; I don't know if it's occurring anywhere else; I have no way to tell. But what I can tell is this:
In a high school auditorium, in a small town -- Middleport, New York, USA -- three well-meaning high school teachers (the band, orchestra, and choir directors) carefully toed the p.c. line as they cheerily wished the audience "Happy Holidays" at the conclusion of their particular performances.
And each time they did -- what with my wondering ears did I hear? -- someone in that auditorium, in a voice loud and clear, wished them "Merry Christmas!" in return.
This wasn't just a solitary sniper against the emptiness that the other side has made of Christmas.
It began that way--with just a single voice after the band director's greeting. But after the orchestra director's greeting, two others contributed their proud Merry Christmases to the volley.
Then the real fun began. By now they were waiting in ambush. The choir director could barely get the inane p.c. niceties out of her mouth before they were met with a barrage of Merry Christmases.
That first, single shot had inspired a salvo. The rout was on!
It all may have been an aberration. The long retreat might resume today. But if a person here, then there, then wherever you are, were to stand his ground, were to lift her voice, the p.c. crowd would tire, after a while, of the hassle.
School administrators, I am sure, would still be required to constrain their faculty from the brazen lawlessness which reference to Jesus Christ has become in our schools. (A teacher profanely dropping the f-word in class will get a reprimand; a teacher respectfully dropping the JC-word will face a hearing.)
But if we were to keep up the pressure, I'll bet that the directors of bands, orchestras, choirs, and school plays would find a way to avoid "Happy Holidays" by substituting a nondescript "Thanks for attending our performance" -- and leave it at that.
That, I admit, would not signal a major victory for the cause of Christ. But it would be something -- a W to write on the ledger against all the L's recorded there.  And if we were to chalk up just a few more W's with it, we would put cultural Christlessness on the defensive, forced to think twice before stammering the empty phrases of their tired creed.
So -- on behalf of a brave, unnamed man in the Royalton-Hartland High School auditorium who directed a chorus for Christ; and on behalf of that chorus, whose voices rose with his -- may I convey to you their very heartfelt Merry Christmas!

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