What does Merry Mean?


When at this season of the year we wish our friends a “Merry Christmas,” it is essential to realise that true merriment of heart is contingent upon the recognition of the truth that Christ was born in Bethlehem for our salvation. The word “merry” is from an old Anglo-Saxon word which sometimes meant “famous,” “illustrious,” “great,” or “mighty.” Originally, to be merry did not imply to be merely mirthful, but strong and gallant. It was in this sense that gallant soldiers were called “merry men.” Favourable weather was called “merry weather.” Brisk winds were called a “merry gale.” Spenser speaks of London as “merry London.” The word “merry” carries with it the double thought of “might” and “mirth,” and is used both ways in Scripture. One of the early Christmas carols was “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.” The Christian is to engage in spiritual merriment as he thinks upon the fact that, through the redemption, he becomes a child of God’s family. The Bible teaches that the angels made merry at Christ’s birth.

Today's Scripture

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God . . . - Luke 2:13

Today's Prayer

This Christmas my heart is indeed merry when I think of Your birth, dear Lord. I rejoice with the angels and praise Your holy name!