The national media carried a story recently about a major shopping mall in Sarasota, Florida, which decided to discourage Christmas music that had anything to do with the birth of Jesus. The decree was, “For choral groups, the Mall prefers no clearly recognizable Christian music, such as carols.”
The story broke a couple of days later and the reaction in the community was quite strong. So many people threatened to take their business elsewhere that the management rescinded its order against Christian singing and, in fact, issued an apology, saying that the directive was not reviewed in advance by the staff of the mall.
I am glad the controversy was settled. But goodness gracious, it puzzles me why the directive was ever given.
At this time of the year, many seem to lose sight of what Christmas is all about. I will never forget hearing a commercial some time ago that cried out, “Get into the Christmas spirit, come to Joe’s Lounge.” Oh really? To find the Christmas spirit we must go to a lounge?
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let’s make sure that our focus is on the One the holiday concerns: Jesus of Nazareth. The birth of that baby on that holy night in Bethlehem changed the history of the world. Let’s not forget who the celebration is all about!
I invite you to our Christmas eve candlelight communion services at First United Methodist Church at 4:00, 5:30 and 7:00PM. We will have meaningful services of worship on this holy night. Everyone is welcome!