Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35


Thoughts About Christmas Greetings

Written by Theodore Barthels | December, 2011
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I got to thinking about some of the Christmas greetings we hear and use.

Out in the world it has become controversial to use a truly Christian Christmas greeting. We hear people exclaim “Happy Holidays!” with great exuberance, but that greeting rings artificial for the child of God.

It has become common to say “Merry Christmas!” Certainly that greeting can be understood correctly among Christians, but again, doesn’t it seem rather shallow and tinny to our Christian ear?

That’s why many of us prefer to wish one another a “Blessed Christmas!” Surely that is what we wish for others—that the Lord would bless them this Christmas.

What we truly wish for other people is that the spiritual blessing which the virgin Mary drew from that first Christmas day would enter their hearts also.

It was indeed an eventful day for Mary and Joseph. The Child to be born of Mary was to be the Son of God, and His name was to be Jesus, for “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

On that first Christmas night the promised Child was born into the world in the humble surroundings of the stable, with a manger as His first bed, while GLORY filled the skies in the Bethlehem hills as angels told the shepherds of Jesus’ birth. They hurried to see and worship their Savior and were quick to tell the wondrous things that had been told them about this Child.

Other people marveled or wondered at the things that were told them, but what about Mary? Not only did she “wonder” about everything that was happening, but we are told that she “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Yes, these were things to be treasured in the heart—things worthy of meditation!

Pondering the Christmas Miracle!

And so it is today. Whether the truths of that first Christmas are heard from the lips of children, from the pastor in the pulpit, or from our reading them once again from Holy Scripture, here the true joy of Christmas is found! As the Spirit opens our hearts, we believe and treasure all the things that the Scriptures tell us concerning
this Child.

These truths are to be pondered. They not only make our Christmas observance more meaningful but they are the truths that bring us the gift of eternal life!

Back to the question about the various Christmas greetings. How about using, “Wishing you a ‘ponder-ous’ Christmas!”? — That just won’t work, and while ‘A contemplative Christmas to you!’ could get our meaning across, it’s just too awkward and cumbersome.

We want Christmas joy to be more than the superficial merriment of a company “holiday party.” We want family, friends, and acquaintances to know the spiritual joy the Spirit works in the heart as, with Mary, we ponder together the mystery of God’s Son born of a woman.

Christmas celebrates the birth of our Savior, who is Christ the Lord. May this truth fill your hearts and minds so that this becomes a most blessed and joyous Christmas for you and yours.

How about that as a Christian Christmas greeting? “A blessed and joyous Christmas to you!” If any raise their eyebrows and ask us, “What do you mean?”, a door has been opened to tell them the true meaning of the season!

“A blessed and joyous Christmas to you!”

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