December 8, 2014

 

We are now entering the third week of Advent. Week one, we studied the expectation surrounding the birth of Jesus and the hope he brought into the world, and last week, we explored the preparation we all must intentionally embrace for Christmas to sustain its true meaning. This week, we examine the proclamation of the birth of the Messiah.

The word “proclamation” is defined as “a public or official announcement, especially one dealing with a matter of great importance.” As Christians, the proclamation of Christ’s birth is observed as the most important announcement the world has ever received, however, it will pale in comparison to the sound of the trumpet that will proclaim his return. In this interim period, it is up to believers to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ birth to the nations.

A Christmas Mix – Playlist 3
Monday, December 8 - Sunday, December 14

The Christmas Waltz, Michael W. Smith & Sandi Patty
Feliz Navidad, David Crowder Band
We Wish You a Merry Christmas, John Denver & the Muppets
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Casting Crowns
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Harry Belafonte
For Unto Us a Child is Born, from Handel’s Messiah, Handel & Haydn Society
For Unto Us (A Child is Born), BeBe & CeCe Winans
Gesu Bambino, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Gesu Bambino, Wayne Watson
Good Christian Men, Rejoice, The King’s Men
Joy to the World, Steve Green
Joy (To the World), Avalon
Sweet Little Jesus Boy, Mahalia Jackson
Go Tell It on the Mountain, Big Daddy Weave
Go Tell It on the Mountain, Larnelle Harris

Acts 4:13-22What Does “Merry Christmas” Mean?
The Christmas Waltz

The most familiar proclamation of the Christmas season is the phrase, “Merry Christmas!” Sadly, the expression has become as mindless a greeting as “good morning,” and generic as “happy holidays.” An examination of what the phrase means might be helpful.

The word “merry” is defined as “happy, joyful, and light-hearted.” It is this word which launches the cheerful melodies of songs like We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad. The Christmas Waltz eloquently captures this joy-filled message as it proclaims in three-quarter time:

“It's that time of year, when the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say, ‘Merry Christmas!’”

In contrast to the jubilant nature of “merry,” the definition of “Christmas” has a much more serious tone. Originally, it was two words: “Christ’s Mass.” The Catholic denomination refers to their worship services as Mass. The term comes from the final blessing said by the priest in Latin: “Ite missa es,” meaning “to send out to the world to take Christ’s teaching to them.”

When we greet those around us this Christmas season, let us vow to communicate with actions, as well as words, the true message behind the greeting. As ambassadors of Christ, we must follow Peter and John’s example and boldly proclaim what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives no matter what the cost.

Challenge yourself to make wishing friends and family a “Merry Christmas” a launching pad for a discussion that reveals the hope, peace, joy, and forgiveness we can receive only through Jesus Christ.