It happens every year. Advertisers and retailers move us quickly from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s. They spend millions of dollars marketing the sounds, smells, and tastes of each holiday. But there’s another element of the season that’s currently in high demand – words. Word art is everywhere you go. November’s plaques saying, “Grateful, thankful, blessed” are now on clearance to make way for ones that say, “Peace, joy, and believe.”
Maybe I find the word art trend fascinating because, like a marketing executive, words are my trade. Words hold meaning; but that doesn’t mean that everyone who peddles the word “peace” or buys the word “believe” grasps their true significance at Christmas. For instance, the world places more emphasis on believing in Santa Clause than belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. The Bible offers a paradigm shift for those of us who identify ourselves as believers. “But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
Most of us are familiar with the angel’s proclamation in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.” It’s great to promote peace between nations and people at Christmas, but the miracle of Jesus’ birth is that we can live at peace with God. This Christmas I challenge you to consider what Romans says regarding peace, joy, and belief:
“It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 4:24-5:2).
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).
Jesus’ death and resurrection provided us with the greatest gift – His righteousness. This is the joy of Christmas! Jesus is our peace, our wisdom, our strength, and our hope. So yes, I’m going to celebrate this Christmas season with words. I’ll speak words of peace to those who are still at war with God. I’ll proclaim my belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and my only hope of salvation. I’ll rejoice in the greatest gift ever given – the righteousness of Christ my Savior. I pray that your heart, your mouth, and your home will be filled with the words of Christmas – and that you’ll be reminded of their true significance.