Is a Happy Christmas Good Enough?
Several years ago, my wife Andrea and I were visiting family in Ireland - or perhaps it was when they were visiting us here in the States (the years are running together) - and during a conversation they started talking about Christmas. And the only way they referred to Christmas was Happy Christmas.
Which was interesting because when she was a young girl, Andrea always said Happy Christmas and never Merry. So, Andrea and I have adopted Happy Christmas as our salutation.
I mean, Merry is okay. But Merry could relate to Robin Hood's band of joyful robbers and misfits. (Right now, it's too cold in Connecticut to be living in the woods!)
To me, Merry connotes jingle bells and jolly elves. Nothing wrong with that.
But it seems to me that we all need even more than a Happy Christmas this year. Certainly more than Merry.
With millions of people around the world infected with this plague, and hundreds of thousands of people who have perished - mothers and daughters; fathers and sons; old and young - we desperately need the same kind of Christmas that occurred in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.
A Christmas where a Prince of Peace is birthed into our world and into our hearts. A Christmas where Joy To The World is the song of angels through the night sky. A Christmas where the Glory of the Lord shines around us. A Christmas where:
"Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying:
'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests.'
(Luke 2: 13-14)
I don't know about you, but what I need this year, as 2020 comes to a well-deserved end, is a Christmas of Peace. A Christmas of Joy in the birth of the Christ child who came to save us all from death.
So, from our house to yours, may God's favor rest upon you this Christmas season, and may the peace of Jesus transform your Happy Christmas into a Joyous and Peaceful Christmas. Hallelujah!