In our December newsletter, I made to focus just the Advent season trying to emphasize the three comings of God our King in Jesus Christ we are waiting and preparing for. I did that because of what I fear has been the domination in the minds of our church folk of the Christmas season. Because of our culturally driven emphasis on Christmas, we don’t give Advent the focus as a season of waiting or of expectation.
We start to celebrate Christmas season on Christmas Eve usually in our churches when we light the Christ candle from our Advent wreath during the reading of the Christmas gospel. (After Christmas Eve/Christmas Day celebration of the birth of the Christ Child, the Advent wreath is usually removed.)
The question of celebrating Christmas I want to raise with you this year is: What does the birth of the Christ mean to you? Is your celebration a celebration of a past historical event? Jesus was born around 4 to 7 BCE for which I am thankful. All the emphasis and focus is what happened in the past and what it means for us as Jesus is born to walk his path to the cross and resurrection.
We can talk about the birth of Christ in a heady way when we focus in on God becoming incarnate in the baby Jesus. Christmas is always pointing us to the desire of God to take shape and form in our created world. Our King comes in the form of a vulnerable baby in a manger.
Or a third way we can talk, think, and reflect on the birth of Christ is much the same way that Meister Eckhart reflected on the birth of the Christ child. Eckhart wants to reflect at our Christ-mas celebration of the birth of the Christ as the birth of the Christ within us. What does it mean for you for God to come and be born in your heart in the center of your life? That you and I are the vesse4ls and the bearers of the presence of the Christ that has been born in us for the sake of the world, our neighbors, our friends, and our families.
Yes, we are still celebrating the twelve days of Christmas. So, Christmas is not a day, it is a very short season of twelve days that ends on January 6, the Epiphany of our Lord. We will celebrate the importance of the Epiphany of our Lord or the revealing of the Christ Child to the world with the coming of the Three Wise Men when we celebrate Epiphany Sunday on January 3. The celebration of the Epiphany signals the close of the Christmas season and is the signal to undecorate the church of Christmas decorations.
Then in January we will continue to celebrate the Cycle of Light (the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany) when we reflect on how God is revealed in Jesus Christ in the Epiphany and those who respond to the revelation are called to be formed as the disciples of Jesus.
Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog…Pastor Larry offers you an opportunity to read your way thru scriptures with him each day at his Bible Blog. The readings alternate between readings from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book. We are now reading the book of Nehemiah from the Older Testament. Then we will begin reading the Newer Testament the Letter of James on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/. Join us online. When we complete these two planned books, we will start the Older Testament book of Proverbs.
Interim Pastor Larry Klinker’s Office Hours…Pastor Larry will be in the office on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon.