Merry Christmas to you. We saw lots of animals at Hosanna's Christmas Eve service. We had a nice evening seeing my family last night. We ate oyster stew and lots of Christmas cookies. We watched 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' after we opened presents. And my son was as excited as I've ever seen him, from his grandparent's gift of a Nintendo DSI. It has a camera, voice recorder, and of course, the games. Right before bed, he explained that Santa might bring him some more DSI games. I asked him how could Santa know that Elijah was going to receive a DSI from his Nana and Papa? He said, simple dad, he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when your awake. He just knows these things.
Have you thought about the phrase "have a Merry Christmas"? This thought is all over the place during Christmas-time. Here's a few examples off of the top of my head – have a holly, jolly Christmas. Joyful, joyful we adore you. It's the most wonderful time of the year. Joy to the World, etc… So why is having a "Merry Christmas" such a big theme at this time of year?
Yes, I know this time of year is hard for a number of people, especially for those who have lost loved ones during the preceding year. And the pressure of wrapping up work year-end reports and projects, and the culture driven drive to find the "perfect" gift for those close to us, is upon us all. So with all these things working against us, why should Christmas time be a time of joy and merriment?
If there is any chance for joy during this time of the year, it is only in Christ Jesus. This message of joy to the world was clearly provided by angels to the shepherds at the first Christmas:
And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:10-12).
So the baby Jesus, the Lord come to Earth, the Savior, is the "good news of great joy" for us. And don't miss the point made by the angels at the end of verse 10 – this joy is for all people, not just Christians. So my hope for you this Christmas is that we be given more light, more smiles, more laughter, more joy for us, through the remembering of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's birth. So go out there and have a Merry Christmas!