DAY 16: Merriment
Scripture: Luke 2:8-14
So what exactly is figgy pudding? At Christmas time, we sing songs about this classic English dessert dating back to the 16th Century, but do we even know what’s in it? If I told you, you might lose your holiday appetite.
Likewise, the word “merry” is not one we typically use in every day conversations, yet at this wonderful time of year we find ourselves greeting family, friends, and even strangers at the grocery store with a jovial “Merry Christmas!” How often do we stop and think about what we are saying in this familiar greeting?
To be merry is to be full of joy and high spirits. Those who are merry are marked by pleasure, festivity and laughter. It is often associated with fellowship, eating and drinking where those gathered are experiencing this merriment together … so basically a celebration! King Solomon, whom God had given immense wisdom, writes this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun. (Ecc 8:15, NKJV).
The word “merry” here is translated “joyful” in the ESV. The Hebrew word means to rejoice, to be glad. We are to take pleasure in each day here on earth and rejoice in it as a gift from God.
When God sent the gift of His Son to earth to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, it was even more reason to celebrate. The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds in the fields that night and announced the long-awaited birth of the Christ. In doing so, he brought good tidings of great joy for all people.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:8-14, ESV).
A multitude of heavenly host appeared out of nowhere worshipping God in celebration. Jesus came from eternity past, entered into our fallen present and reconciled us to God for all eternity to come! For those who receive Him, that reality should fill us with immeasurable joy.
Jesus, at the last supper before His crucifixion, told his disciples many powerful and encouraging truths about His identity. He is the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to God the Father. Although He was soon going to the Father, He promised not to leave us as orphans but to send the Holy Spirit to remind us of everything He had taught. And if we continue to abide in Christ, we will bear fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing. Jesus clarified one of the reasons why He shared these things with them.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11, ESV).
For those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, He has put His joy in us that our joy may be complete. Every time we say “Merry Christmas,” we are proclaiming the joy of Christ to the world.
This Christmas, may the reality of our salvation cause our hearts to lift up joyful praise to our gracious Savior King … to sing, to dance, to be merry!
Now let’s go eat some figgy pudding!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas (3x) and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin,
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Now bring us some figgy pudding (3x) and a cup of good cheer.
We won’t go until we get some (3x) so bring it right here.
Looking for more Advent? Find all of the devotions HERE.