Merry Christmas! You don’t hear people say, “Merry Christmas” too often anymore. These two simple words that open the door to a message of unending joy and hope is growing silent.
It would be rare to hear anything other than “Happy Holidays” anywhere you go these days. Where did “Merry Christmas” go?
It would never work!
The juxtaposition was evident and obvious to anyone who was paying attention. As I finished buying a gift this week the lady handed me my bag and said, “Happy Holidays.”
But in the background Jose Feliciano was singing “Feliz Navidad.” Just reading the words likely ignites the melody in your mind. “Feliz navidad. Feliz navidad. Feliz navidad Prospero año y felicidad. I wanna wish you a merry Christmas. I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas. I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart!”
It would never work to substitute “Happy Holiday.”
Larry King wanted to know.
Larry King, the iconic television host, was interviewing Mortimer Adler. Adler was the Editor-in-Chief of the Great Books of the Western World.” A 52-volume collection that is recognized as one of the most significant publishing feat in history.
It is a collection of 517 essay’s representing the most significant achievements in literature, history, philosophy, and science. On any theme you can find out what any of the great thinkers, philosophers or writers had to say about a particular topic.
Larry King asked, “Mr. Adler, I was looking through the Great Books of the Western World to which you were the Editor-In-Chief. Can you tell me why the longest essay is on God? Great themes history, law, ethics, knowledge all of this, but God is the longest essay in your compilation. Can you tell me why?”
And the answer is…
Mortimer Adler did not hesitate for a moment. He said, “Larry, it’s very simple. More consequences for your life follow from that one issue than any other issue you can think of. What you believe or disbelieve in God has everything to do with how you live, why you live, how you orchestrate your life and what your values are.”
It was an unarguable point. Mortimer Adler was not the first guest to be challenged by Larry King about presence of the living God in our world. But he is one guest who knew he didn’t need to make an argument for God he just simply needed to point Larry in the right direction.
Merry Christmas shows up on December 25.
Try as the world might to hide Christmas behind the veil of “Happy Holidays” it continues to show up every year on the 25th of December. There are plenty of reasons for the date.
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.
The Miracle of Christmas
Every year the miracle of Christmas reminds us of God’s presence and love. Every Christmas God reminds us of how it all makes sense—Jesus! The greatest gift ever given. The gift of life given to you and me.
Christmas comes to life when we go beyond acknowledging Jesus birth to actually experiencing His saving grace. Christmas brings us close to Jesus—handing us the greatest gift the world has ever seen and inviting us to unwrap it.
Adler was right. How we think about this season has more consequences for our lives than any other issue you can think of.
The uncomfortable thing about truth is that it always is pursuing us. Truth draws us to think as it passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed and finally it is accepted as being self evident.
The truth is “Happy Holiday’s” is not a substitute for “Merry Christmas.”
C. S. Lewis said, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
Feliz navidad. Feliz navidad. Feliz navidad Prospero año y felicidad.
I wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart!