In a conversation I had the other day someone was greatly disturbed by the fact that I said “2012” when referring to the current year instead of “two thousand twelve.” To this person, this was another sign of the inappropriate and careless manner in which we live. As a pretty analyitical person I thought this was a bit ridiculous at the time and since it had nothing to do with our conversation at the moment I brushed it aside. However, this morning (or rather afternoon) on my way in to the office, I was thinking through this scenario and wondering if there really was a change in how we perceive the time/calendar. Prior to the year 2000; however, I am quite certain we all said “1996” not “nineteen hundred ninety-six” so I think that pretty much settles that one. “2012” is actually not any more shorthand than “1996”
So, this got me thinking about other things that people, especially some Christians get upset about and I remembered that the same person gets upset about the notion of using “Xmas “instead of “Christmas”. This is a very popular one, especially in December! I think what people tend to not realize, however, is that the letter “X” has been used since ancient times to represent Christ because in reality the Greek letter “X” is the first letter of Christ’s name in the Greek language “Xristos” (transliterated here). So again, not only do I think it is unncessary to get upset about using “Xmas” I think in reality it is just as faithful as the full name “Christ”. Now of course, this is left to the reader’s discretion and the meaning/reason for using the “X”. If you’re trying to “X” out Christ (as the argument often goes” so be it, but just realize that in “X”ing out Christ,you are really just affirming that Christ is the “X”.
The third item of was musing about to myself was the phrase “In God We Trust” that is printed on money in the U.S. There have been attempts to remove this verge and it wouldn’t surprise me if in time it is removed. Oh no! Horror of all horrors. That would almost be like the Pharisees of the New Testament times not wearing their phylacteries on their foreheads for all to see. Why do we think that our Christian bumper stickers, T-shirts and verbiage on coins (which people are using less and less anyway – maybe your credit card should say “In God We Trust” or better yet maybe it should say “Be Wise with your Swiping – This is God’s money!”) will cause our nation to crumble to the ground. I’d advocate for the complete removal of all public Christian saying and all Christians to actually live out publicly their Christian faith and I think we’d have a whole lot more impact than we are now!
Fight the good fight, not futile and foolish ones!