December 20, 2017

John 11:35 (ESV) — 35 Jesus wept.

I got a text from my youngest sister yesterday wishing me a Merry Christmas. I wished her a Merry Christmas back. Then I got to thinking about what would make this a Merry Christmas for me. And I also speculated as to what a Merry Christmas would mean to other people. And then what would a Merry Christmas mean to Jesus?

I read an article in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal yesterday entitled, “Lack of snow impacts local businesses.” The businesses impacted the most were those that sold snowmobiles and snowmobile accessories. It said that snowmobile sales were almost non-existent. Normally this local business would have been allocated 100 snowmobiles for each brand that they carried but due to the lack of snow the past few years they are down to an allocation of 20. And these 20 aren’t selling. To them this is not a Merry Christmas.

In fact to most retailers the Merriment of their Christmas is measured by the dollar amount of their sales. The more sales the merrier the Christmas. For consumers the better the Holiday Sales the merrier the Christmas. For those who received what they asked Santa for the merrier the Christmas. For those who were able to travel without any delays due to weather or power outages the merrier the Christmas.

For our politicians being able to leave Washington with all their agendas completed the merrier the Christmas. For families with military personnel who were able to come home for Christmas the merrier the Christmas. For many churches the more people served at their Christmas meals the merrier the Christmas. For some having the outdoor skating rinks open would mean a merrier Christmas. For many people Christmas would be merrier if they were cancer free.

There are many things that potentially could make for a Merry Christmas. But to Jesus there really is only one reason to make Merry at Christmas. The reason is found in Luke 10. Jesus had sent his disciples out to tell people that the kingdom of God was near. He also gave them power and authority to heal the sick and cast out demons.

Luke 10:16–20 (NLT) — 16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” 17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” 18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

What really makes a Merry Christmas is that your name is registered in heaven. Nothing else matters. You may sell more than your allotment of snowmobiles but it won’t matter in eternity if your name isn’t registered in heaven.  You may get all the presents you want and more. You may travel without any delays. Your agenda may be completed. Your loved ones may be home for Christmas. Your church may have served a record number of people Christmas dinner. The skating rinks may be open and you might be cancer free; but none of that matters if your name isn’t in Heaven’s Register.

I believe that when Jesus sees all the names that aren’t registered in heaven he weeps.

1 Timothy 2:1–6 (NLT) — 1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

Oh, and what would make my Christmas merrier? If I knew Jesus wasn’t weeping.

Pray for a Merry Christmas!

Be Inspired Hilltop!



  1. Kirsten Holzner says:

    Rejoicing tonight that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life: the greatest of graces. And I’m thankful God healed my wrist tonight. So, so grateful to be a part of the family of God.

  2. Mark Gundersen says:

    Near the end of a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is almost in tears due to the commercialization of Christmas. Linus tells us what makes Christmas merry when he recites Luke 2. That is the real merry Christmas.

  3. Last week you said that Christmas is really about us to God. He went to great lengths to restore our relationship by sending his one and only son Jesus to seek and save the lost. There would be no merry at all if it were not for God’s extreme measures to reclaim us, because there would be nothing to celebrate. Every happy moment we have is just a small measure of God’s extreme love for us. It’s hard to realize that God has such a love me. I hope to have a greater understanding of this love as I celebrate the gift of Jesus this year.