Good news! It looks like Christ can stay in Christmas after all. Retailers, movie stars, and even government officials have begun using the term “Merry Christmas” again. Though some are still deeply offended by the words, there seems to be a resurgence in advertisement that includes both “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas.”
More good news! Jesus may also have a place in this resurgence of the yearly festival. It appears that we can say “Merry Christmas” and consider the baby Jesus all in one breath. As long as He is wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, there will be no major outcry.
However, there is a catch: Jesus must remain as an infant and “Merry Christmas” must be in reference to being with people you love. Christ the Savior or “the Lamb which takes away the sin of the world” is off-limits. Likewise, the holiday slogan must not be connected to “God with us – Emmanuel” or the Creator coming to save people. Certainly there must be no mention of people being lost or blind as this would only make them feel self-conscious about their preferred lifestyle.
As you may note in my script, I’m a little caustic. The world will never approve of Jesus and the Cross of Calvary. John 1:5 “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The world can neither comprehend this light or accept it. To the world, Peter said that Jesus is… 1 Peter 2:8 “…a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient…”
So just as a declaration, let it be known that when we say “Merry Christmas” we are recognizing that the incarnate God came as a man to die for the sins of His creation; that God gave His only begotten Son and whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John. 3:16.
When we say Jesus, we are including His infancy in Bethlehem; His teaching in the Temple at 12 years old; His earthly ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and His second coming. When we say Jesus, we mean The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We mean that we were purchased with His Blood on a cruel cross and that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Christmas is the moment of the beginning of our Redemption.
Merry Christmas. Jesus is born.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole