This greeting will be exchanged countless times during the month of December.
For some, it will be said without much thought as, “Have a good day” is repeated the other eleven months of the year.
Many, though, will totally embrace the celebrations of the season. Receiving and giving gifts, attending parties, decorating the tree, getting together with friends and families makes for a fun time of the year.
For others, it will be difficult to speak it. There could be a diagnosis of cancer, a distraught wife whose husband has just abandoned her and their children, or the recent loss of a job.
Why do Christians believe no matter what their circumstances are that every Christmas is truly merry and should be celebrated?
Because Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
The gospel of Luke (2: 8-12) tells us, “That night there were shepherds nearby staying with their flocks and angels from heaven appeared. The radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. The angels proclaimed. “Don’t be afraid! I bring you great news that will bring great joy to all people. The savior is born today.” Suddenly, a great many other angels joined the announcement and said, “In the highest heights, glory to God, and on earth peace to men whose welfare he seeks. You will recognize Him by this sign. You will find the baby wrapped in strips of cloth.”
Why does all this matter to us?
Jesus, the creator of the universe came to earth. God wanted a family. That is why He created the universe. Also, God wanted an intimate relationship with all the people He created. His plan to accomplish that personal relationship was to come to earth in the person of Jesus. God became man.
“I bring you.” This is personal- Jesus stepped into humanity and wants a relationship with everyone-Including you!
“good news” The good news is God came to earth because He loves us.
“Don’t be afraid!” He is not a vengeful God looking to smite us. The birth of Jesus should give every Christian peace and the knowledge of how magnificent the love of God is that He would come to earth.
“The savior is born today.” Every believer in Christ has confidence they are part of God’s family. Jesus came to bring joy to our lives and secure an eternal spot in heaven for each of us.”
“Glory to God.” Jesus is the expression of God’s character. Jesus is the essence of God in all His glory.
“You will recognize Him by this sign. You will find the baby wrapped in strips of cloth.” God is knowable and accessible. What an amazing thought.
With all of these concepts- saying Merry Christmas does not come close to expressing the glory, magnificence, joy, and relevance of the birth of Jesus for each and every one of us.
God had eons of time to plan how the birth of Jesus would take place. Therefore, it is no accident that the first people who were told of the birth were shepherds. Shepherds needed to be with their flocks around the clock. Therefore, they couldn’t bathe often or attend ceremonies in the temple. Because of these, they were viewed as lower class- even despised- by the good, orthodox Jews. That angels appeared to the “average” person first is another tangible act that shows the great love God has for everyone.
The Missions and Outreach committee hopes each one of you truly has a Merry Christmas. We pray you have a clear and accurate understanding of the identity and character of Jesus.
Please consider bringing a friend to the Christmas eve services so they, too, can hear the “Good News.”