Growing up, our church never celebrated Advent. In fact, I don’t even think I remember learning about the season of Advent until I was in my mid-20s. After the turkey dinner of US Thanksgiving, we were in full-on Christmas mode, complete with carols, Christmas trees, and parties galore. No space was created to wait, expect, prepare, or slow down during those 4 weeks prior to Christmas morn. It was all about the main event.
I love the fullness of Advent. And by missing Advent in my youth, I missed out on a meaningful spiritual season. But do we not do the same with Christmas? Now that December 25th has come and gone, are we now rushing into the New Year season with thoughts of intentions and resolutions and new gym memberships and the latest diet plan and promises to keep? Should we not linger a bit with Christmas? After all, Christmas is not just a day, but a season. Christmas continues until Epiphany on January 6. And I don’t want to try to pack all the blessing and wonder of Christmas into just 1 day.
During this 12 day Christmas season, I yearn to relish and linger in its beauty. I choose to offer thanks for its meaning. And I open myself to be transformed by these Christmas truths: that God has come to us as a human being. That God identifies with us as human beings. That God has come to reconcile all people – everyone – to Godself. And because of Christmas, Emmanuel – God with us – is continually calling and wooing us into God’s own heart.
So may you enjoy this season of Christmas. It’s not too late – we’re only 2 days in.