The Lord Is Come
When I was a young pastor, a question from a church member made me ponder. Christmas was on Saturday, and a member asked if we would have a Sunday worship service the day after Christmas. We had a leadership meeting on Tuesday night, a prayer meeting on Wednesday, Bible Study on Thursday, Friday was the Christmas Eve service, Saturday was Christmas Day service, and now Sunday worship meant that they were coming to church Six days in a row.
While they wondered if they could get a break from the church, I was left wondering what else I could say. I think I needed the break from Christmas more than the people. However, the irony was that the focus of the Advent Season was about putting aside the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season of the commercialized modern world and taking time to ponder on the true meaning of Christmas. I realized that under the guise of spiritual Christmas, I was just as guilty as the merchants of worldly goods in keeping people from reflecting on the meaning of Christmas.
In history, the Season of Christmas, which begins on Christmas Day, was celebrated, not Advent. Advent was promoted during the Dark Ages when the Church leadership lost much of its credibility with the people because of its political connections with kings and princes and the corruption that existed in the church. The church had emphasized Epiphany and the presence of Jesus in our world, much the same way the Pentecost was a big deal.
In our modern world, Advent, the anticipation of the coming of Jesus and Lent, the anticipation of the death of Jesus are the main holidays of the church, not the Season of Christmas and The Easter Season. In the same way, we anticipate the presents we will open with great joy, but once we open them, we do not even remember who gave us those gifts. This Christmas season, as we celebrate Jesus, who has come and is with us, let us focus on the joy of his presence with us and the love we can experience because Jesus is here.
As we throw out the Christmas wrapping papers, as we finish up the last of the Christmas chocolates, as we put away our decorations for another year, let us remember that Christmas is not over but is just beginning. As you make plans for your New Year’s party, do not forget that Jesus is here with us, and as you make your New Year’s resolutions, contemplate on the ways you can include Jesus more in your life.
We have been waiting for God’s Anointed One to be among us, and he is now here. Let us celebrate and enjoy the love of God in our midst.