Summary: The Gifts of God the Father at Christmas surely give us reason to wish others a "Merry Christmas".
The Father’s Gifts at Christmas: The Visit
When we receive “good news” we love to share it, especially when it comes to children and family. Because of Zacharias’ disbelief upon the news that his aged wife would have a child, Zacharias ability to speak was taken away. He experienced nine months of silence in order to brood, ponder, pray and meditate on his Bible, the Old Testament. This silence may have been a divine reprimand for his unbelief, but God always turns his rebukes into rewards for those who keep faith. Hear the Song of Zacharias in Luke 1:67: “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: (Everything that comes out of Zacharias’ mouth is Holy Spirit-filled and God-DIRECTED!)
68 "Praise be (or blessed) to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us-- 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness (undefiled from sin) and righteousness (innocent and guiltless) before him all our days.”
God visits us
Who is it that comes to visit us? The Lord God of Israel has come. The word for “has come” is often translated “visits”, so it is God who visits us. This is the glory of Christmas: God comes from His Heaven, in the flesh, to our house, to the home which He created for us in which to live an He makes His Home with us.
John 1:13-14 &18: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth…..No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God (NAS:theos) who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
It is only people who have been filled with the Holy Spirit of God who can comprehend the power of God in Zechariah’s Song: for God to come in flesh, Immanuel, God WITH US. Luke 2:14: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." God comes in the flesh to bring HIS PEACE and His love to those who would receive Him. “Merry Christmas!”
God accomplishes the work
Secondly, God he has come and has “redeemed his people.” God accomplishes the work of redemption. Don’t underestimate this work of God. God comes in the flesh in order to redeem. Listen to these verses from 1 Peter 1: 18:…”You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Jesus comes into the world to liberate from sin by the paying of a ransom. That payment could only be made on God’s terms: a perfect unblemished sacrifice for the sinful. By the substitutionary blood of Christ, sinners are released from the payment their sins. The ransom is paid by God through Jesus because Yahweh (the Lord God of Israel) is our Salvation!
What Zecharias had in mind when he said “God had visited and redeemed his people” was probably the same thing Moses had in mind when he described God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. In Exodus 6:6 Moses quotes God, saying, "I am the Lord, I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians and I will deliver you from their bondage and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment." But God’s rescue goes far beyond those expectations! It is far greater than any national liberation. He brings personal eternal liberation from sin that you could not possibly earn, accomplish, or deserve on your MERIT. This is why believers in the Lord Jesus can offer a MERRY CHRISTMAS GREETING!
God brings the gifts we need.
At this time of year, people sometimes agonize over buying the “right” gifts for others. If someone would have given me a guaranteed super-duper mousetrap for Christmas last year, I would have felt very little appreciation because I had no need of one. If my house was infested with mice, I would be very appreciative. We don’t value or love a gift or an offer for help unless we recognize that we have a need or desire for such things.