I heard a story about two women who were shopping on a cold December morning in a large city. Their coats were tightly buttoned. Their arms were holding packages and presents.
As they walked past the display window of a downtown department store they saw a life-size depiction of the nativity scene: the baby Jesus in the manger, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds kneeling, and the cattle and sheep nearby. One of the women was overheard to complain: "Can you beat that! Even the churches are barging in on Christmas!"
To her, this display was an encroachment by the church-going people of the area. What a statement: "Even the churches are barging in on Christmas!"
I am afraid that we have drifted so far from the real meaning of Christmas that the Prince of Peace is accused of "barging in" on His own birthday celebration!
Many in our culture today think of Christmas only as: long lines, gifts to be bought, parties, time off work and school, drinking, pretty lights, bonus time, increased sales. We have a real tendency to paganize such a holy celebration.
Personally, I wish the church would politely "barge in" a little bit more, reminding us once again, with love and kindness, what this season is all about. We need to remember, and never forget, that Christmas is all about the birth of that Baby in a stable in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. That He is the reason for the season. If that is "barging in," then I hope the churches in our community will proceed with that "barging in" full steam ahead!