"Merry Christmas!"

"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, 'Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.' But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.' " Luke 1:26-32

The Christmas season is upon us. This has always been my favorite time of the year. Regardless of the commercialization and the secularization of the holiday, it still warms my heart to think of the birth of Jesus.

Don't get me wrong. I have some pet peeves with people trying to hijack "Merry Christmas" and replacing it with benign statements like "Happy Holidays!", or "Season's Greetings!" I have my guard up against any attempt to let this world-changing event slip into come Celtic Yuletide celebration or have its meaning gutted by those who want us to all be politically correct and religiously homogenized during this time of year.

The point of Christmas is Christ. Two syllables make up the word. The emphasis should be placed on the first syllable. This is not hard to say, but it seems to be very hard to repeat. Try it! You will see what I mean. Start saying "Merry Christmas!" I'm not advocating a boycott of those who don't. I am simply calling on Christ followers to say it, and repeat it to one another.

Too many Christ followers are U2 fans. I don't mean the band. I mean the abbreviated response to "Merry Christmas!" Someone will get up the courage to say it to a person who is apparently a follower of Christ, and like a robotic text message, the response they receive back is, "U2" or "You too!" Give me a cotton pickin' break. Is it too much to ask for Christians to say "Merry Christmas!" to one another, before they start boycotting, emailing and bashing the media for taking "Christ" out of Christmas.

For the next 25 days, I will be writing on the message of Christmas. If Jesus is the reason for the season, then the world should be able to see Him, and hear about Him more than any other time of the year. Before we poke out the eye of the blind man, let's tell him about the Person who can heal him. There is no time like the present to introduce Jesus to the people who are listening and longing for a way for this season to have more significance than a great deal on Black Friday.

Shout it out! All together now! "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"