Christians believe Philippians 2:9 that states clearly Jesus is the name above all names, that one day the whole earth will bow before the one who owns that name, that in that name demons flee, prayers are answered and miracles happen.
Over the centuries the celebratory term Christmas has been reduced to Xmas, supposedly to accommodate limited advertising space or simply for cuteness or through unquestioned habit.
On the web you’ll even find ‘Christian reasons’ stated for doing so, such as quoting the usage of the ☧ labarum Chi Rho, an early Christian symbol representing the name of Christ. But you’ll also find a quote from evangelist Franklin Graham: ‘For us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. For people to take Christ out of Christmas… happy to say Merry Xmas, let’s just take Jesus out – Really, I think, (it’s) a war against the name of Jesus Christ.’
Christmas is meant to be a great joyous time of festivities of fun, fellowship and family. But we must honour Jesus Christ above all else. In doing so, let us remember that X is also a mark, one that is used for cancelling out. If X is to used in connection with the word Christmas it should be used as a cross, reminding us of the real reason the Son of God came to earth – to die on Calvary’s cross, not to be cancelled out!
Abbreviating is a habit
Like those annoying and off-putting ‘You knows’, ‘You know what I means’, ‘Ums’, ‘Ahs’ and ‘Ers’ that careless preachers and speakers use, abbreviating names is a bad habit that needs correcting.
Even I have to correct myself in such matters. Oh, not in respect of the exalted name of Jesus but in little things such as shortcutting certain words while typing. And I could probably make an excuse by saying ‘Well, even the great CS Lewis did such things in his letters to people.’ But, really, there is no excuse for people in the public eye.
To me (Robert), a most annoying habit is the abbreviating of first names. Personally I would never consider doing so unless I was requested and permitted to do so. For countless years when I’ve introduced myself as ‘Robert’ the immediate response has been either ‘Hi, Rob’ or ‘Hi, Bob.’ I do not hesitate but quickly point out, ‘No, it’s Robert, not Rob or Bob’ and endeavour to set the record straight.
But this is not about ‘My name is Robert, not Rob or Bob.’ No, it’s about drawing attention to the great truth that if our precious Saviour were to write this, he’d write ‘My name is Jesus, not Geez or Jeez.’
In Matthew 1:20-21, we learn that Joseph was to take Mary home as his wife. This meant that he would become her protector. This young carpenter, simply but powerfully described as ‘a righteous man, was also told that Mary would have a son by a miracle and he was to call the boy Jesus for he would become the Saviour of the world. Jesus…not Geez or Jeez! Today we should be protectors of the name of the one Mary bore.
Joseph carried out heaven’s direction to the letter. In his case ‘letters’ not an abbreviation. Jesus is the name our Saviour was referred to throughout Never Geez or Jeez! Even when the so-called religious leaders of the day wanted to slur his name they used the derogatory term ‘this fellow.’
The need to be wise
A few years back some Christians began to loosely use certain words in their conversation with non-Christians. Afterall, they wrongly reasoned, it was the cool thing to do. But, really, it wasn’t right and removed a major difference between saved and unsaved people.In would slip ‘damn’ and ‘damnation’ as well as ‘hell.’ Such expressions, when properly understood, relate to the endless eternal condition of every human that hasn’t accepted God’s ‘Christmas gift’ of a Saviour – Jesus!
Today we hear the regularly repeated TV shows expressions of ‘Oh my God!’ or even just ‘My God!’ or ‘O God’ coming from the lips of Christians. Sadly we hear some Christians loosely using these exclamations. Include ‘Geez’ or ‘Jeez’ and it should tell us that it’s time to make some important adjustments to one’s vocabulary.
In honouring Jesus this Christmas, let’s enjoy the season and give thanks to God for its real reason – his amazing gift to all humankind of a Saviour. But let’s also be determined that from here on we will always remember that the name of Jesus is very special and is always to be honoured.