There is no more significant or sacred ritual in the Christian church than the Eucharist (aka The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion). Christians eat bread that they believe is the body of Christ and drink wine symbolizing the blood of Christ. It is an act of obedience as instructed by Jesus Himself as well as a sacrament; it is a time for worship, reflection, and forgiveness. The Eucharist commemorates the life of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for all mankind.
It is understandable that to non-Christians, this may sound strange. After all, it is an ordinance wherein believers consume the representation of their Savior. But understanding is neither required nor even requested. All that Christians — like the members of any religion — truly desire is respect. They wish for respect for their faith.
Of course, at Christmastime there is inevitably the chipping away of the birth of Jesus by our secular society. The miracle of the Nativity is pushed aside for Santa’s glittering magic. The true meaning of Christmas is watered down into something called the Christmas spirit — which primarily revolves around acts of kindness through consumerism and the self-serving benefit of feeling generous.
And you know what? That’s fine. If even a hint of Christmas is celebrated at a shopping mall or on a commercial, I don’t feel disrespected. I accept that everyone wants the opportunity to partake in this joyful time and will gladly share the occasion. It’s an opportunity to explain my faith to people, a reason to demonstrate the love of Christ to those who do not believe.
However, there is a difference between diluting religious meaning and the outright scorn for it. On Sunday night’s Christmas episode of “Family Guy” on Fox, both Christ and the Eucharist were mocked. On the same night, “Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Snack” belittled and ridiculed the sacraments with a skit featuring a fake product called “Cheez-Its Christ.” Both shows reveled in the sneering contempt for what they do not believe or comprehend.
Would the media insult any other faith with such open glee? This is not cute, nor is it meant to be. It is instead part of ridiculing Christianity into silence.
Christians are chastised for attempting to impose our religious beliefs on others. And yet the imposition of others’ irreverence is somehow perceived as clever, acceptable, and humorous. The intolerance for our faith is ignored as accusations of intolerance and ignorance are hurled back at us. There is a flagrant distaste for Christianity and all that it holds consecrated.
Every opportunity is taken to belittle, disprove, and insult the church. Every year, Christmas is attacked, reduced down to what the world wants in a holiday: time off with no religious strings attached. There is no conviction needed, just credit cards and gift wrap. It is no wonder that to so many, January feels empty and unfulfilled.
Although Jesus teaches that the meek are blessed and shall inherit the earth, we are not called into silent submission to the world. There is no better time to challenge the mockers and educate the ignorant. This is the season to remember that God sent His one and only begotten Son. It is the season to ponder the miracle of Jesus’ birth and rediscover the beauty of His forgiveness.
As always, we can rest assured the Word of God stands forever. The truth sets us free. And God is not mocked without a reaping of what is sown. We must speak out and up for what we believe and cast off what is offensive to the Holy Spirit. Embrace the miracle of Christmas and rejoice in the fulfillment of God’s promise for salvation.
Katie Nations has been married for 15 years and is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.