Christmas. “Are we there yet?” Good word this morning, Pastor Jeff.
The whole point of Advent is not to start celebrating Christmas now. It’s to wait for it. To anticipate. To look forward to. To think on the coming of the baby Jesus… and to think on His return at the end of history as King Jesus.
Advent — what a glorious season! Hear the words and the songs of this time of year. Read slowly and feel the comfort they bring (using the text from Handel’s Messiah):
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel —
‘God with us’.” (Is. 7:14)
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness:
Prepare ye the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low:
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Is. 40:3-5)
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Is. 40:11)
Sound like something — someOne — worth waiting for?
I think the pre-modern church had it right: celebrate Advent for four weeks until December 24th, and then celebrate Christmas from December 25 through January 6th (the “Twelve Days of Christmas”).
Want to do something really countercultural? Try it! Ignore all the trees and lights and muzak-ed “holiday songs” and celebrate Advent until Christmas arrives. Wait for it! Then celebrate Christmas for 12 days while all the stores are busy hanging Valentine hearts. People may think you’re crazy but trust me… you will enjoy Christmas in ways you’ve never imagined.