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No One Took Christ Out of Christmas

In a recent issue of CT magazine Tim Larson reflects on Christ in Christmas:

Some of us are worried about others experiencing doubts: children, siblings, friends, or maybe even spouses or valued members of our churches. Perhaps we are even worried that our entire culture is losing its faith. If so, I have good news for you: Christmas is your ally in the tussle between faith and unbelief.

As a scholar of the subject, I can tell you with confidence that, by and large, atheists love Christmas. They see it as Christianity at its most inviting. Unbelievers often feel closest to the faith at Christmastime.

I have a friend who was once a zealous Christian. He left the church and became quite comfortable saying he no longer believed in God. Yet a few years ago, he told me rather sheepishly that he had gone back to his old church for its Christmas Eve service. Since then, the way he talks about Christianity has noticeably softened. I would not be surprised to hear someday that he had returned to Christ. Christmas draws even skeptics toward the faith rather than pushing them away.

In our culture … the Christmas season takes up 10 percent of the year! Our entire culture is geared up during the holiday season to make it easier to talk about Jesus. Even the Salvation Army suddenly becomes part of mainstream culture.

We can’t force our secular culture to celebrate Christmas in a Christian manner. And yet, our culture is amazingly interested in the Christian aspects of Christmas. A Christian sacred day is also a federal holiday. Many churches gather their largest congregation of the entire year at Christmas.

In the Chicago area there is a radio station that uses the standard rock format for most of the year. But for about the last ten percent of the year, you can tune in and hear, “Joy to the world! The Savior reigns,” or be invited to “cast out our sin” and let Jesus enter in, or be offered “tidings of comfort and joy” because “Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day.” We should be grateful that for six weeks during every year, even pop stations sometimes play songs that proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ.


Timothy Larsen, “No One Took Christ Out of Christmas,” Christianity Today (11-22-21)

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