Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is Happy Holidays really that bad?

This piece was heard on National Public Radio's Morning Edition on November 2, 1988: "In 1958, America's first commercial jet air service began with the flight of the Boeing 707. A month after that first flight, a traveler on a piston-engine, propeller-driven DC-6 airliner struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger. The passenger happened to be a Boeing engineer. The traveler asked the engineer about the new jet aircraft, whereupon the engineer began speaking at length about the extensive testing Boeing had done on the jet engine before bringing it into commercial service. He recounted Boeing's experience with engines, from the B-17 to the B-52. When his traveling companion asked him if he himself had yet flown on the new 707 jet airliner, the engineer replied, "I think I'll wait until it's been in service awhile."
I share this old story to remind us enthusiastic conversation is not enough. Clear headed understanding of the basis for our belief is not enough. Involvement in helping other believers in their understanding is not enough. An active faith requires we put our lives where our mouth and mind are.
I mention this because so many believers become animated about the “Happy Holidays” greeting that has replaced “Merry Christmas” in the marketplace of America. I confess my dismay at the loss of that tradition, but, if I insist on the tradition while berating cashiers, pushing into line, attempting to have the most expansive Holiday Party, then my mouth is writing a check that my life is not able to cash. I have a suggestion – when an opportunity comes up to voice our passionate belief, before opening our mouths, let’s first give thought to an action which may precede or follow the comment which speaks for us the love Christ brought to earth over 2000 years ago.

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