Grinch, Scrooge, or Merry Christmas
But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. AMP
The angel announced to the shepherds a statement of the position God now took with mankind for eternity. The birth of Jesus was a “great joy”. It would ring true, echoing throughout the corridors of time. God through His Son, brought joy for anyone who wanted it. It came in the package of Jesus. If you have Jesus then you have God’s great joy. What the angel said was so profound. Good News of a Great Joy and it was for All People.
Look at what this term “great joy” means scripturally. The word “great” concerning this joy has two distinct definitions. First, the importance of how great His birth was, how important the person who was just born is to all. Angels announcing His birth show the intensity and high degree of importance which was given to Him, this is His greatness.
Second, the size and volume of the joy He brings. It is infinite joy, it never ends and is always found there with Him. It is a joy which is greater than anything else that could ever be found that would bring a person joy. This was a joy brought forth for the whole earth.
Let’s define this “joy” in the scripture. One definition is an archer’s term. When an archer pulls the string of his bow and releases the arrow, the twang of the string signifies he can now relax. The tension of the archer’s arm holding the pulled string is gone. So joy is a sense of release, to relax, and to be at peace. A second definition of joy is to show or proclaim excitement when darkness and chaos have been swallowed up or overwhelmed by God. With God, a person can have His joy which is greater than any negative situation or circumstance. His joy is greater than anything else and can actually cover, overwhelm, and swallow up any circumstance of any degree. A third definition is happiness, inner gladness, a deep seated pleasure which a person can only find in God. A joy found only in His spiritual realities that bring a sense of happiness regardless of what may be happening around an individual.
God’s own personal joy the angels announced at Jesus birth was now found in His Son. This would be a great joy to all people everywhere. The joy Jesus has from His Father is now given to anyone who wants to have it. It is there for anyone who comes to Jesus. In Him, with Him, through Him is this great joy. A great joy which came to all with His birth.
As a Christian He lives inside of you and reveals Himself to all those around you. We are now representatives of this joy for all to see. Through Jesus we have the ability to always be joyful just like Him. There is no better time to proclaim and display this joy which is deep within our hearts than when people are most open to hear and see it, which is during the Christmas season.
So you might be asking why I went through such a lengthy definition. Because having this knowledge will produce something deeper coming from your heart when you say, “Merry Christmas”. This is so our words are not shallow, or without depth behind them, or being overused to the place where it lacks in importance.
You no doubt hear the words Merry Christmas hundreds of times over the Christmas Holiday. So when you say it to someone or return the saying back to someone you have the true basis of where “Merry” comes from. When you say Merry Christmas it comes from the great joy of Jesus Himself. An inner gladness, a relaxed position where there is no tension because darkness and any chaos has been swallowed up in Him.
We are presenting His truth of joy to others. It’s His joy in us bringing a deep pleasure from within, regardless of our situation. From this position we are spreading His joy to all those around us. It is a normal attitude for those walking with Jesus, because He is our great joy. You can bring this deep seated happiness, this type of joy every time you say, “Merry Christmas”.
To be happy is an emotion, to be merry is a behavior. Now that does not mean we can’t be happy, it just means there is a foundation to happiness, a foundation to being merry, which is His great joy living inside of us. This is what His birth brought us at Christmas. This word “merry” actually is an old word which comes from the idea that something is so pleasant it makes time fly. So let His joy be seen. Christmas is a great time to show what “merry” really entails. It is a joyful heart that leads to joyful behavior. This joy we display shows the very heart attitude of God Himself.
There is no grinch in God, nor is there a Scrooge, God doesn’t know how to be grumpy, just the opposite, He only knows how to be full of joy. His character is pure, undefiled joy and this is what He brought to the whole world at the birth of Jesus. So let the people around us see true joy being expressed, this great joy which came at the birth of Christ. Let them sense you really do hope they have a Merry Christmas.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. NIV
We need to check our joy thermometer, to see how joyful we are?
Is His joy in our “Merry Christmas”?