The Forgotten Season

Jeremiah 33:14-16

14 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

Okay, admit it! You’ve seen the meme on Facebook of Santa saying, “Slow down and let’s have some turkey first.” He was protesting society’s habit of skipping from Halloween to Christmas without giving Thanksgiving its rightful spot on the season’s agenda. I concur with Santa about slowing down to eat some Turkey, but Thanksgiving is a memory. So, it’s Christmas right? Not quite.

When does Christmas Season begin? For many it begins in the wee hours of the morning, while standing in line at the department store, waiting for Black Friday’s deal. But to be honest, Christmas doesn’t begin the day after Thanksgiving; no matter how many radio stations begin playing your favorite carols. It actually, well, begins on Christmas!

So what do we call the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Have you forgotten? Well, don’t be too hard on yourself, because many have or at least almost forgotten.(Especially, us Southern Baptist, but I guess my Methodist upbringing is showing!) In my opinion,  the consumerism placed on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas has dwarfed this very important Christian holiday season. It is the wonderful Season of Advent . (Oh, yeah now you remember vaguely the thing with the wreath and candles.)

Advent is celebrated on the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. It marks the beginning of the Christian calendar year. It is a season to take time to reflect on Christ’s Incarnation (1st Coming) and His Parousia (2nd Coming).  In many Christian traditions, a wreath is placed with five candles (4 purple  candles with one white candle in the center). The four purple candles are lit  on their respective Sunday to represent hope, love, joy, and peace. Finally, the last candle (the white one in the center) is lit on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to represent the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who is the Light of the world!

Okay, so what? Well, I would highly recommend taking sometime away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and reflect on God’s faithfulness to His promises.  New help? Watch the video of one of my favorite  Advent carols below.  Buy a wreath and candle for your home as reminder or a teaching aid for children. By the way, get to church tomorrow and start the New Year off right! (Well, the Christian New Year at least.)