Hello! It’s December… “Merry Christmas!!”
I was watching football this past weekend and noticed not a single holiday advertisement mentioned Christmas. So I hope my Merry Christmas greeting resonates positively with you.
The words “Merry Christmas” can connote different things to different people. It can be a generally innocuous seasonal greeting that we share almost automatically… or it can be a meaningful commemoration and celebration of Jesus Christ’s entering into this world some 2000 years ago.
Certainly I acknowledge the concept of Christmas might not resonate well with some people. There are many reasons for that. A big one is that it isn’t an “all-inclusive” statement. There is a risk that someone might take offense or feel slighted by my bringing up Christ in this way. Maybe I’m talking to someone who has never investigated or has made a choice to ignore the historicity of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection from the dead (1). Or, perhaps I’m talking to someone who has no appetite to consider whether those facts have a relevance for them personally. Any of those and more are reasons for me not to risk saying Merry Christmas.
Yet, I believe there are more compelling reasons to take the risk. For one, when I wish others a Merry Christmas, it is an opportunity to remind myself and them of the reason for the Christmas season. At a surface level, it is a reminder that Jesus Christ has visited this world – the first Christmas – and how we celebrate that fact. At a deeper level, I choose to risk being potentially viewed as politically incorrect because I see immense value in bringing up Christ at Christmas. Who knows, it could invite a conversation about the first Christmas and its continuing relevance for us today. It’s a risk worth taking to have a Christmas greeting remind us all of Christ and the possibilities He has opened up for us.
(1) Readers interested in investigating the historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ may find useful “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, by Josh McDowell or “The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation for the Evidence for Jesus”, by Lee Strobel.