Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:1-6
It doesn’t seem to be a hot topic now, at least not as hot as it was in the past. Or maybe it’s just not getting the attention it once did. It’s the debate of the greetings “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”. Rather than spending time on this debate, we are better off spending a few minutes thinking about why we can say “Merry Christmas” and have it mean more than another superficial holiday greeting.
Why can we wish others a heartfelt “Merry Christmas!”? Focus again on what Paul says. It is not about the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring. It is about the centuries before Christmas when all through the Scriptures God’s prophets were revealing a promise, the gospel, the good news, regarding God’s Son.
It is not about whether we have been naughty or nice. (We are all naughty—corrupt by nature and sinful even now.) It is about Jesus Christ our Lord, who became true man—a descendant of David—and as true God gave his perfect life in payment for sin. His resurrection from the dead assures us of victory over sin, death, and the devil.
“Merry Christmas” is not about a wish list that may or may not be satisfied by gifts under a tree. It is about the grace and peace that are ours through God-given faith. It is about belonging to Jesus Christ.
For us, the greeting “Merry Christmas” is about a promise kept—God’s promise and God’s keeping.
May you be blessed in God’s keeping by the promise he kept of sending his Son to be our Savior. Merry Christmas!
Heavenly Father, grant me a Christmas blessed by the gift of your Son, and make me a blessing to others as I share with them your promise kept in him. Amen.