Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Although it's been said many times, many ways:
A Ku Odun Keresimesi! Merry Christmas!

This Christmas, I have thought a lot about the greeting,"Merry Christmas." As I wrote Christmas cards this year, and as I responded to seasons greetings from cashiers, and friends, and Salvation Army ring-a-bell-ers, I couldn't help wonder what exactly what we mean when we say "Merry Christmas." The words conjure up red and green, candy canes and a pot-bellied Santa.

The angels who heralded the first Christmas used these words:

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger . . . Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

(Luke 2:10-14)

I have decided to memorize this greeting and use it in lieu of "Merry Christmas" from now on. Okay, maybe not. But I do pray for myself and for all of you that as we share Christmas greetings, we may be filled with joy by the incredible Gift of a Savior; and we may look beyond the manger and marvel at the cross on which the gift was completed.

"Merry Christmas," "Joyeux Noel," "E ku Odun,"--whichever way you say it or hear it said, I pray the words bring you joy, fill your heart with peace, and cause you to glorify God by proclaiming the gift of His Son to the world.

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