What does ‘Merry’ Mean?

By   •   December 25   •   Topics:

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When at this season of the year we wish our friends a “Merry Christmas,” it is essential to realize 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.” Favorable 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.

Prayer for the day

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!

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141 Comments

  1. Debb says:

    My mother died in 1969 when I was a child. She regularly watched Christisn programs with Reverend Billy Graham. It is comforting to me to know that someone who touched her is still alive and touching countless others.

  2. Joan Gaddas says:

    What a wonderful explanation! I usually say happy Christmas because of the link of merry to being drunk! I shall say merry from now on!

  3. Julie Rojas says:

    Loved the message

  4. godknows says:

    thank you for letting me know the meaning of merry

  5. Jan wilkinson says:

    Merry Christmas, loved the message of “Merry”

  6. Victor Bajah says:

    Thank God for Christ’s birthday that brought salvation to humanity. I will Merry in this thought.

  7. Geetika says:

    A very Merry Christmas to all!
    Indeed, the JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH……

  8. Harry Guynup says:

    Thank You Mr. Graham, and Merry Christmas to you and your family! Love You Sir! God Bless You!

  9. Bob Jonsen says:

    Thank you, Billy Graham, for this enlightening message! Too often the term “merry” gets associated in the world’s eye with having too much alcohol to drink. But we should all be merry that our Lord & Saviour came down to this world to save us! Thank you, Jesus !

  10. Ekow Takyi Appiah says:

    Daddy,God bless you.can you send me bible?this is my address.p.o.box 2324 sunyani,Ghana.