Yikes, did I just do what I think I did? Did I title a post “Happy Holidays” instead of the preferred “Merry Christmas”? What is this blog coming to?
Perhaps I’m a bit of a rebel but the holiday greeting, sanitized as it may seem to some, doesn’t bother me much. My logic is slightly subversive and I’m crediting that to my uncle, who instilled in me a love for etymology. At the root of the word “holiday” is the word “holy.” Before holidays came to mean time off from work, and exorbitant amounts of food and gifts and decorations, holidays were simply “holy” days, or days set apart. God, of course, instituted the first holiday by gifting his people with a day of Sabbath rest, and I should add, a gift that was given prior to the giving of the OT law. Although there may be little that is “holy” about many of our modern holidays, as far as the acknowledgment of God goes, even this innocuous greeting proclaims the eternal truth of a holy God!
But we can take the “holy” idea one step further. The word holy is related to our other English words “whole” and “health.” So often we think of something that is holy as being so set apart that it is out of our reach. I think nothing could be further from the truth. In giving us the gift of Sabbath, by setting apart days as holy days, God was giving us an invitation to be restored to wholeness, the wholeness that can only be found in him. And at Christmas, what greater reminder do we have than that his Son came to restore us to the life God intended for us, whole and eternal and abundant life!
So that’s the subversive part for me. When someone wishes me a politically correct “happy holiday,” they may not know what they’re wishing for, but I am reminded that they are a beloved creation of God whom he longs to save and I can pray that God will work in their lives to bring them to a full understanding of his truth.
And now I’ve done entirely too much thinking and I’m just going to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas AND a Happy Holiday as well!