Go Ahead, Kids, Say ‘Merry Christmas!’

A bishop reminds parents of the best possible gift they can bestow on their children

Christmas is the time when most of the world rejoices in the birth of Jesus Christ. I make a point of saying, “Merry Christmas” to people who greet me with the intentionally secular and mildly grating, “Happy holidays.”

By saying Merry Christmas, I’m announcing to the world that Jesus Christ was born and, that at my core, I am one of his followers. We should teach our children to do the same.

There are secularist storms whirling around our children at all times, both visible and invisible.

I have an uncle who was fond of saying, “You can’t fault a man for not knowing.” The Bible tells us we are to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, yet we often neglect this important directive when it comes to our children.

Saying “Merry Christmas” is a way to proclaim Christ — and something that even the youngest child can do. In those two words, children are saying, “I believe.”

There are secularist storms whirling around our children at all times, both visible and invisible. It takes great effort for children to stand firm, and we have an obligation to equip our kids with the tools to do so during these trials. Remember, just because we can’t see evil doesn’t mean it’s not there.

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The visible storm is the constant assault on our own thoughts — the barrage of media and progressive propaganda, and the mere reality of the more difficult parts of our daily existence. At times it can be uncomfortable — and that is to be expected. But because of the birth of Jesus, we need not fear. He has equipped us to stand by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is with us and in us. In our weakness, He reveals His strength. We are One body, and we must stand together with our children, knit together as soldiers.

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When we teach our children to submit to His word, spend time in His book, and walk out their days living with Him, they begin to take the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. When they learn to pray fervently, seeking Him on behalf of others, they are again taking the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. When we teach our kids to submit to His ways, it is no longer just our children who live, but Christ who lives in them.

What better gift can we give our children than the ability to defend their faith, and maybe even help others find Christ?

This Christmas, I pray the cares of this world are put in their place and not exalted. I pray the body of Christ is strengthened by His Spirit, and that our children are knitted together to weather any storms that come their way.

May we submit to God and teach our kids to do the same, as we proudly celebrate His birth, beginning with the words that say so much, “Merry Christmas.”

You never know whom you will reach with those words. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 that we should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Maybe “our children” are not just those whom we raise from infancy. Maybe it can also be those we influence, those who look to us for guidance or mentoring — and those who simply don’t yet know the glory of the Lord.

What better gift can we give our children this Christmas than the ability to defend their faith, and maybe even help others to find Christ?

Council Nedd, Ph.D., is a Pennsylvania State constable and an Anglican bishop living near Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. Follow his musings on law enforcement, faith, and politics on Twitter @BishopNedd.

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