Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christian Chicken Gone Wrong

We have only reached the weekend before the weekend before Thanksgiving, but already Christmas is everywhere. The music is everywhere. The commercials are everywhere. The sales are already underway. And the decorations are starting to dot the landscape of our cities. Surely in this time of commercialization that kicks off the Christmas season far too soon there must be some last bastion of hope.  In the midst of all the Black Friday muggings still to come at your local Wal-Mart, all the Miley Cyrus holiday specials and all of the neighbors trying to make their house look like the home of Clark W. Griswold, there has to be one place we can count on to #SaveThanksgiving and help us keep the Christ in Christmas.  One place that will take a bold stand for being grateful in November and celebrating Jesus in December. One stalwart institution that will say NO to commercialization and YES to praising God. The home of all things pure and good.  The home of conservative family values.  The home of Christian Chicken.  Chick-fil-A!

But wait...last night our local Chick-fil-A on Waters Ave. here in Tampa (NOT the one where Will works!) did something awful.  The home of Christian Chicken succumbed to the evils of a VERY EARLY secular Christmas.  There were lights everywhere.  Some of them depicted (GASP!) Santa Claus.  You can see it in the picture above- Santa, a Christmas tree and the holy Chick-fil-A sign.  All of these pictures were taken in a previous year on the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving.   Seeing that they were starting last night startled me. I was so confused.  If Chick-fil-A has gone over to the dark side of the holiday season, what chance do the rest of us have?  What chance do we have to #SaveThanksgiving and honor the true meaning of Christmas?

I hope by now you have felt the sarcasm in my writing today. If the heart of Thanksgiving is praising God for the many blessings we have in our lives and the love we feel in our hearts, then there is nothing some Christmas decorations and barking dogs doing Jingle Bells can do to stop it!  The campaign to #SaveThanksgiving is not about fending off the early onslaught of the Christmas season- that ship has sailed. It is about reminding ourselves that this is a season of praise and gratitude- and it leads to the season of celebrating the thing we should be most thankful for in life- the gift of the love of God whose name is Jesus!!! The lights at Chick-fil-A, whether they be lit last night or on Halloween, can do nothing to change the way we keep Thanksgiving in our hearts. It is also my firm belief that we can enjoy the trappings of the Christmas season without forgetting Jesus.  In fact, if we are that easily distracted, we need to re-think our commitment to the Child of Bethlehem. There is a battle to be fought about remembering the "reason for season."  It's just that the battle is not with stores, restaurants or Santa.  Our struggle is not with those who choose to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." The fight is not about arguing with the world over "saving Thanksgiving" or keeping the "Christ in Christmas."  The battle is in our own hearts.  Do we live like are we thankful for all God has given us? Do we live like we know Jesus? If we do those things, then the "battle" can be trusted to God. And I like His chances of winning...

So enjoy the turturkeykey (a small turkey stuffed inside a larger's going to be a thing!) and the football. Enjoy the lights. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the shopping. But sing your PRAISE to the LORD and WORSHIP Jesus!!! It truly can and should be the most wonderful time of the year.  Even at Chick-fil-A...    

Because of Jesus,

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