I have had the privilege this year of singing many Christmas Carols in the public arena. It has been a great blessing to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the folks who pass by. All of my interaction with those who passed by and heard the music (which is overtly Christian) has been positive. The location where I have been singing, however, is at a Christian-run storefront in the middle of the Bible Belt, so the conditions have been favorable. However, I do know and have experienced at times those who take offense at the overtly Christian nature of Christmas. Many people want to make this holiday a thoroughly shallow, sentimental, and materialistic holiday. They pressure us to say "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and to sing "Frosty the Snowman" instead of "O Holy Night." Others pressure us to give "equal time" to other holidays that are celebrated this time of year, like Hanukkah. "Why should we push our religious agenda on people?" they ask, "Why should we favor this Christian holiday over the others?"And the answer to these objections is that Christmas is good news for everyone, not just Christians. Jesus didn't come to save and to serve Christians, Jesus came to save and to serve the world that he loves. I have nothing against Hanukkah but Hanukkah has nothing for me. It is not good news for me. It is an exclusively Jewish holiday. Christmas is for everyone who will believe and follow Jesus, whether Jew, Gentile, African, Italian, rich, poor, educated, ignorant, sick or healthy. That is why we say "Merry Christmas" to the world. Jesus was born to save you and to bless you by turning you away from sin which destroys humans. We don't have a right to say "merry Christmas", we have a responsibility to share the generous love of God this time of year. So may I say "Merry Christmas" to you this year? It isn't to spite you but to serve you and that is why I will continue to say it even if I am persecuted for it. The greatest gift of Christmas is Christ's self-giving love to those who hated, rejected, and failed Him. The least I can do is to continue to offer Christmas to the world that He so loves, even if it continues to reject it. Jesus gives himself as a gift to you this Christmas. Don't exclude yourself but come into the family gathering and sing of the Joy given to the world now that our Lord has come! Let earth receive her king and have a very merry Christmas!