When someone wishes you, “Merry Christmas,” what do you hear?
It is a puzzling yet fascinating phenomenon the way that a message often originates as intended by the sender and terminates with the receiver comprehending a completely different meaning. In faithful communication, the sender and the receiver are always faced with the complication of using methods of message encoding and decoding that are likely to conflict, thereby creating the frustration of miscommunication. In other words, it is possible to say one thing and mean something else entirely. Likewise, it is possible to hear an expression and miss the point. For instance, consider the different ways, urgencies, and degrees of passion with which we pray the words, “Lord, I need you.” They can range from a quiet whisper in the middle of a crowded room to the impassioned cry of the desperate in a prayer closet. Thankfully, our great Creator is able to decode that prayer in exactly the way it is encoded by our hearts!
Before I reach the main point of this article, allow me to challenge you with these words: When someone speaks, do you seek first to understand? Or, do you make the mistake of seeking first to be understood? To make the error of the latter is always to miss the opportunities of the former. Remember, Holy Spirit charity “is not rude, it is not self-seeking” (1 Cor 13:5), and “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.” (Phil 2:4). The next time someone speaks, put this thought to the test: Are you hearing what they are saying? Or, are you hearing what you think they are saying?
Now to my point, most people, when they say the words, “Merry Christmas,” have no idea what just came out of their mouths! Mostly, they think of a man in a red suit with a belly the shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly! Let’s stop and think about this: What is the word “Christmas” really all about? To understand, we do a simple “unpacking” of the word using the originating languages from which it came. Christmas is a compound word formed by two words “Christ” and “mass.” Mass comes from the Greek word for Eucharist which is to “give thanks” or “THANKSGIVING.” CRISTES is equivalent with the Greek word for MESSIAH which means “ANOINTED ONE.”
MERRY “THANKSGIVING FOR THE ANOINTED ONE!”
Those who have a heavenly revelation of who Jesus really is can certainly appreciate the fact that the Christ-child, born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was He, who according to Isaiah 9:6, would be the child born unto us, the wonderful, counselor, mighty God! He is the anointed one who dwells in our hearts, bringing about a life transformation for every soul who follows Acts 2:38!
Without a doubt, it’s Christmas…every time we allow God to love others through His anointed Spirit inside our hearts!