full of cheerfulness; joyous in disposition or spirit. 2. laughing happily; festively joyous; hilarious. (dictionary.com)
Queen Elizabeth II was said to prefer “Happy Christmas” at a time when “merry,” meant “intoxicated.” -Wikipedia
The Queen was onto something, but I wouldn’t have separated it. Let Christmas be associated with the feeling of intoxication, because that’s an accurate reading of my Christmas-filled heart.
“Merry” is the uninhibited joy released by God’s grace, and the freedom that flows out of His forgiveness. It’s the boisterous laughter that seeps out in spite of exhaustion, and the confetti of cares launched free in celebration of the Light of life.
Just in case the foul look on my daughter’s face didn’t communicate her disgust, she huffed around and away and out of the room. Infuriated that she had swiped the last word, the furthest thing from my mind was forgiveness.
God’s response to our tendency to walk around and run away was to forge a path to forgive us. His compassionate love is expressed through the Son who chose to endure humanity, knowingahead of time that “Merry Christmas” would eventually become an intolerable offense. God loves us for who we are …not who we search to be. Jesus was born to restore our standing with His Father.
Now that the danger of touching the hot stove has passed, I can begin to back down the maternal scream for safety in exchange for a listening ear and an understanding heart. A heart that isn’t offended by my daughter’s struggle to find herself in this world; but one that recognizes it’s plight, and looks for moments to guide, assure, and comfort her. Jesus erased my sins. Who am I to hold onto hers?
Everlasting life just for trusting Jesus with ours? That’s a birthday worth celebrating in “merry” jubiliee.
Treasure Your Sled
Christmas is like hopping on a sled and swishing down the hill, faster than we can brace for but worth hopping on. Blinded by stinging snow as we sail down the hill, the world’s cold, cruel and political correct statutes are blurred by hope.
The joy of Jesus numbs the pain that tends to taint tears a bitter color if we remain of this world. The constant search of self is satisfied in the embrace of who we are right now. Life isn’t consistent or predictable. Lean into the reliability of love, not actions, personalities, or unexplainable disasters. Our entire existence is a snap of God’s fingertips.
Christmas is the whole point of life. It grants us the opportunity to have the relationship that Luke mentions above. Without that baby born in a manger, we are doomed to watch the sled zip by, never quick enough or smart enough or agile enough to catch it and hop on. Jesus holds it, waits for us to accept the ride, and then joins in as we scream with glee all the way down the hill …of life.
“Merry” Christmas. It’s intoxicating …Jesus being born to save the world. It’s merry …God and His love for us. It’s endearing and inspiring …to be forgiven beyond what we deserve. It’s joy …the opportunity we have to journey through life in closeness with our Creator.
Be merry! Shout with joy! Embrace who YOU are …right now! Have FUN in this life, with your Savior by your side.