December 5, 2008
Every year for the past decade or so American Christians have found themselves embroiled in the “Battle for Christmas.” Everyone knows that the secularists want all mention of Christ removed from public life and discourse. Each year, court battles spring up about Nativity scenes in the city square or City Hall. Family organizations publish “naughty and nice” lists exposing retailers who have intentionally removed any mention of Christmas from their obviously Christmas-themed promotions. All of these efforts are noteworthy and beneficial as we battle to hold back the humanists in their zeal to destroy all of the true meaning of Christmas.
I have a suggestion, however, to take the Christian community out of a defensive posture and start playing a little offense. Let’s start a new movement! I’ll call it the “From the Manger to the Cross” movement—and I’m inviting you to join up. The plan is simple and everyone can participate. Since many of the Christmas battles involve a Nativity scene—why not make this the centerpiece of the movement? While continuing the battle for the public square—let’s move the battle to the front lawn. Your front lawn! What if every Christian in America who understands what Christmas is all about would put a simple Nativity scene in their front yard this Christmas season? Your neighbors will have Frosty, reindeer, candy canes and Santa— while you have Baby Jesus in the manger. Now, here is the added twist that makes this new “movement” unique and powerful: add a cross. After all, the Nativity is a wonderful story but it is incomplete in its eternal significance without the cross. After all, Jesus was born to die. The whole Christmas story culminates at Calvary.
In order to become a part of this powerful movement this Christmas season you simply place a Nativity scene (easily purchased or made) on your front lawn and discreetly add a cross behind or above the scene. It’s the entire gospel message on your lawn! When neighbors ask why you’ve added a cross to the manger, Mary, Joseph and the animals—you have a wonderful witnessing opportunity!
It’s interesting how Christians complain that there is no Nativity scene down at the mall but they don’t have one at their own home or at their church. Yes, churches can become a part of the movement as well!
What a powerful testimony if thousands of Nativity scenes, with crosses, would spring up on the lawns of Christians all over America to combat the secularism that attempts to silence the message that Christ was born of a virgin and died to save sinners. I’ve been asking my radio listeners to become a part of the movement—and now I’m asking you. Please send me an e-mail or even a picture when you become a part of “From the Manger to the Cross.” Will you join me?
Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of “Bob Burney Live,” heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Bob at email@example.com.