Here in the U.S. the push is for Christians to say Merry Christmas. Actually, it’s more of a push by Christians to make everyone say Merry Christmas? But is that even appropriate, for various reasons? One of which is the word merry. Isn’t blessed, as in “have a Blessed Christmas”, much better?
Merry Christmas or Blessed Christmas
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Should we, Christians, be saying Merry Christmas or Blessed Christmas?
Merry portrays having a good time. Blessed is more like to be thought of as something from God. Although, even with blessed, the word is becoming less and less about God.
But think about Christmas. For instance, look at What Christmas is not (and is). To Christians, Christmas is, or should be, about the birth of Jesus Christ. The son of God. Even more than that, the birth of Immanuel. God with us. God. Come to earth to be with His people as one of us!
Mt 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Mt 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Mt 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
Mt 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Yes – 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
But there’s more than that. So much more. For some more on that thought, please check out Why does Christmas matter?
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
And while that may be cause for celebrating, it’s also cause for reflection. For mourning. And for change.
Reflection, because we really should consider the fact that it was necessary for God Himself to come to earth to save us from our sins against Him.
Mourning, when we realize all the things every one of us that made what we are “celebrating” on this Holy Day.
Change, because after the realization and the mourning, we should want to stop sinning, as much as we can. Of course, this only comes with the power of God.
Is Christmas all there is?
No, Christmas isn’t all there is. The birth of Jesus, God with us, is an awesome event. And it should, in the right context, be celebrated. But there is, as I hinted above, so much more. I invite you to read Why is Christmas so scary? What it’s really about. for more on that topic.
After the Blessed Christmas comes Good Friday.
There’s what we call “Good Friday”. The day when Jesus was crucified. Jesus’ birth was a necessary prerequisite for Good Friday. Death isn’t possible without birth. Jesus, God, paying the price for all our sins was accomplished on that day.
The death of an ordinary person couldn’t have paid the debt we’ve all built up with our sins. Only the death of Jesus, the second member of the Trinity, could pay that price. The death of Jesus was necessary. However, by itself, the birth of Immanuel, God with us, doesn’t pay the price for our sins.
After the Blessed Christmas and Good Friday comes Easter.
Another Christian Holiday. This one turned into bunny rabbits that somehow deliver marshmallow chickens and chocolate eggs.
But think about it. Easter. Resurrection day. From a Christian perspective. Jesus came to earth. Jesus died on the cross. If that was the end, then yes, our sins were paid for. And yet, without the Resurrection, the end result is still death. For more on that, please see Which is more important – Christmas or Easter?
Both physically and spiritually, since neither of the following two events took place yet.
After the Blessed Christmas, Good Friday and Easter comes Ascension Day.
I wonder how many, other than Catholics, even know about Ascension Day. It’s important.
With the birth of Immanuel, God – in the person of Jesus – arrives on this earth.
On Good Friday, God, in the person of Jesus, suffers and dies on the cross. Our sins are paid for.
On Resurrection Day, God, in the person of Jesus, rises from the dead.
But think about what that means. Yes, Jesus is alive again. But He’s still here on earth. If He can’t return to Heaven, then how can our salvation and return to God be completed? It can’t. That’s what Ascension Day accomplishes. Jesus’ return to Heaven. Return to the Father.
And that whole sequence shows He can do the same for us. Our salvation now has a path. One we know God can accomplish.
Conclusion – Merry Christmas? or Blessed Christmas?
So what do you think? Should we, as Christians, be saying Merry Christmas, or is Have a Blessed Christmas much more in line with why we celebrate this Holy Day? And not only this one Holy Day, but the other three after it.