Quoting from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”: “A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. “Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!”
While Dickens certainly immortalized the phrase “Bah! Humbug!”, he was not the one who came up with it. It was in vogue before Scrooge ever uttered it. But what did old Ebenezer mean when he so indignantly spoke those two words regarding Christmas? Well, to put it bluntly, he was saying Christmas is a fraud, a lie. Now I don’t think Scrooge was denying the birth of the Savior. I could be wrong, but I think he was merely saying that Christmas was no reason to be Merry.
Scrooge was wrong of course. He didn’t see a reason to celebrate because he didn’t understand the reason for the season. It is not the season that we are celebrating (I for one would much rather celebrate in spring or summer than during winter). It is not the tree that we celebrate, nor is it even the gifts under the tree. It is not the family gatherings that we celebrate. These are all pleasantries that we enjoy, of course – but if those are all that we celebrate, then perhaps Scrooge was right. But no – this is what we are celebrating – and let us never forget it, and let us proclaim it loud and clear!
Luke 2:11 (KJV) 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
That’s it! There is just no greater cause for celebration this side of heaven! For with that simple fact, every promise God made concerning the Savior was sealed: The Promises of Forgiveness, Salvation, Healing, Eternal Life-all of these promises (and more) lay wrapped in swaddling clothes in a lowly manger in Bethlehem on that first Christmas morning so long ago. And every Promise is still true today! That is why we celebrate! And that is why Scrooge, the old Humbug, was wrong.
Have a Merry and blessed Christmas, and may your New Year find you walking close to Jesus and trusting in His Promises.