I oversee most of the communications for our company. Often, I make social media posts myself, in fact. I did this the other day when I shared a Christmas moment from our Dallas office. When he read it, my boss, one of the owners of the company, sent me a one-word text: “Typo.”
See if you can spot it…
Tiny error, big difference
Honestly, I had to study it for a while to find it. I don’t know what it is about editing your own work. I surmise that it has to do with the fact that you know what you wrote so you anticipate what is coming and your eyes just skip over the mistakes. (Maybe I should say “I” do this; maybe “you” don’t.)
When I did spot the mistake, it cracked me up. I was a little embarrassed of course that I put that out there in a professional environment but I also thought that it is ok to laugh at yourself. May as well. Others will and often at your expense, but you disarm them when you can laugh at yourself. Takes the starch right out of the britches of those making fun. Ronald Reagan was genius at such things. He might anticipate his opponent attacking him for his age and before that person could to so, he would make his own wisecrack about it, effectively unloading the political pistol before it could even be fired…
That is just a little aside, a detour, if you will, to share a good life lesson: Don’t take yourself so seriously. When you do, no one else will.
Now, on with the post…
I looked at the typo – “We with YOU a Merry Christmas” – and cringed for a few seconds (you know, pride) and then laughed for five minutes. I read it aloud a few times and replied to the boss’s text, “Sounds like a lisp.” I kept hearing the genius work of Sean Astin, who played Doug Whitmore, the brother of Drew Barrymore’s Lucy in 50 First Dates…
I finally got over tickling myself and “listened” to it again, that “mistake” I wrote…
A Truth Tucked Into a Typo
“We with you a merry Christmas.”
I started playing with the cadence. I changed it to “We with you…a merry Christmas.”
Hey! Wait a minute. Why am I hearing my Granddad read the Christmas story before we tear into our presents on some long ago Christmas day? Why am I hearing St. Matthew’s words (in Granddad’s voice)?
“Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
That is what a Merry Christmas is all about. It is not about the tinsel or the mistletoe, even if those are really cool. It is not about Ol’ St. Nick, though he’s cool, too. It is a joyful season, as the Christmas hymn proclaims, because “the Lord is come.”
God is with us in our pain. He is with us in our sorrow. He is with us in hardships. He is with us in our joys, our celebrations. He is with us and He is for us and “if God be for us, who can be against us?”
We with you…a Merry Christmas!
We with you…
Since this is a Christmas post, you might expect me to share a passage from Matthew 1 or Luke 2, a piece of the Christmas story. But I want to share, instead, from the gospel of John, Jesus praying as the shadow of the Cross loomed over Him, as He prepared Himself for his final – and finest – hour on earth…
When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. I have glorified You on earth by accomplishing the work You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed.
Prayer for the Disciples
I have revealed Your name to those You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. For I have given them the words You gave Me, and they have received them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those You have given Me; for they are Yours. All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine; and in them I have been glorified. I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You.
Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. While I was with them, I protected and preserved them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to You; and I am saying these things while I am in the world, so that they may have My joy fulfilled within them. I have given them Your word and the world has hated them; for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, so that they too may be sanctified by the truth.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are called to be “with” others the same way He came to be “with” you – to be with them in their journey, to support them, to love them, to uplift them, to share the joy of salvation and the hope of glory with them.
That is the Christmas mission. That is our purpose, our power, our privilege. May it ever be our passion!
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere! Jesus Christ is born!
From my family and me to you and yours…
We with you…a Merry Christmas!