More Than a Merry Christmas

“Merry Christmas” said the gruff, well-seasoned bus driver. He paused. “And if you don’t celebrate Christmas I’m not talking to you!”

In politically correct Cambridge I thought my ears were going to fall off. And I feared a bit for his life. But in the spirit of the season, most people were good-hearted and merry about the interaction, wishing the driver a happy holiday or Merry Christmas as they left the bus.

It also made me think about the “war on Christmas”. I realize it’s not something I’ve fretted over. While I think ‘X’mas’ looks a little silly, I dismiss it quickly. I’ve lived in two Muslim majority countries where we celebrated Christmas without outside forces dictating the rules or grandmas getting run over by reindeer.   And as I walked away from the bus with a ‘Merry Christmas’ in my ears and on my lips, in an epiphany of sorts I was struck that my faith is so far beyond a mere ‘Merry Christmas’.

For this God I love is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He’s the bright morning star and the fairest of ten thousand. He is the babe in the manger and the King of Kings. He was there when the sea was formed and is there when the mountain goats give birth. He is Creator, Saviour, Comforter all in one. He is, and will always be, so much more than a Merry Christmas.

So today I wish you more than a Merry Christmas. While the magic of the season is limited, the reality of the living God will sustain forever.



Readers & Friends – Thank you….for reading, emailing, commenting, and, right when I’m ready to stop blogging, telling me that what I wrote helped your soul. Yesterday Communicating Across Boundaries made it to over 200,000 views in less than two years – and it’s because of you. I’ll be taking a break for a few days as my kids come in from different corners of the globe through international and domestic terminals. 


12 thoughts on “More Than a Merry Christmas

  1. At work and it just got a little slow so I am reading up on all I missed over the holidays. Thanks. I am both encouraged by some and realizing I have been out of touch, as well, just learning of the young woman in India. So tough. And CT shootings, hurricane Sandy’s aftermath when so many have already forgotten…lots to make one’s heart heavy and then to think of the Incarnation and Phil 2:6-8 and how he willingly entered into this broken and messed up world. Happy New Year, Marily.


  2. Merry Christmas dear friend. I too am grateful that we worship a God bigger and infinitely more wonderful than all the Christmas trappings of our culture. Wishing you warmth and peace as you spend time with your family this season. (Although with so many Gardners under one roof, I imagine it will not be exactly peaceful…so perhaps I should wish you a wonderfully boisterous and joyful Gardner Christmas!) love you.


  3. Looks like you’re already basking in the blessings of the season. Much love to you all – and Merry Xmas! (Brush up on your Greek — it’s perfectly legitimate!)


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