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Mary Christmas


Published 2016-12-21

Have a Very Mary Christmas at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church in Kansas City MO
I want to wish you a Mary Christmas.

No, that is not a typo.  I hope you have a very Mary Christmas.

I just realized that the only time I use the word Merry is in connection with a Christmas greeting.  Sometimes other times of year I wish someone a “Merry Ground Hog Day” or a “Merry Halloween,” just to see if they are paying attention.  

It seems the whole history of how the Merry Christmas greeting began is lost in the mists of history except all can agree the person who really deserves the most credit for promoting it to the number one Christmas greeting is Clement Moore.  In the final line of his famous poem, T’was the Night Before Christmas, Santa exclaims, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”  Or was it “Happy Christmas to all?”  It depends on the version you read.

I have tried to be conscious of when I glibly extend this age-old greeting and in my mind substitute Mary Christmas.  Wherever it comes from merry is just another word for happy, but Mary is the name of the mother of Jesus.  

It seems to me that the meaning of Christmas is not just that we might be merry, but that we realize that we are each Mary.  Mary was the first disciple of Jesus.  Her trust in her unborn child is inspiring to all who come after in faith.  And like Mary the hope of Christmas is that the gift of Jesus to the world is that the same Spirit that was in him is in us who try the best we can to trust and follow him.  So when I wish someone a Mary Christmas, it is my hope that they will know the hope, peace, joy and love of the birth of Christ from the inside out.

That is all to say, however you celebrate the holiday, on behalf of all of the staff at Pine Ridge, I hope you will have yourself a Mary little Christmas.

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