Rev's Revelations

It's the most wonderful time of the year!*

Craft stores and department stores have been prepared for months—with trees and lights and snowmen, signs of peace and hope and joy. KOSI 101.1 has been playing Christmas music since Friday, November 8. And, even in all its commercial holiday-ness, I kind of love it.

If it were up to me, we would celebrate Christmas more often. We would put up trees, hang ornaments, bake pies and cookies, and give abundantly--a little more often. But, it is not up to me. With great anticipation, I keep my reindeer sweater in a box next to my Santa snowglobe and an old nativity my mother passed on to me. And, I wait—but only until the day after Thanksgiving. By then it seems as if the whole year—from January 6 until Thanksgiving—has been one long season of waiting for peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

The church Advent season—the season of waiting in expectation and preparation for Christ's coming—begins four Sundays before Christmas. During Advent we expect Christmas—the Christ mass—to come and we prepare for a great celebration. During this month, we listen to bible stories prophesying the birth of a king, the coming of the messiah, and the promise that Christ will come again. We get ready by decorating our church and community and homes. We hang greens as a sign of life and hope during the cold and stagnant winter. We light candles to shed light in the darkness of shorter days and longer nights. Most importantly, as we gather together, we realize that Christ is already here even though he has not yet come again. We recognize Immanuel (the name meaning God is with us) is with us when we receive the sacraments, when we hear the good news, and when we proclaim the good news in song and deeds.

In some ways this most wonderful time of the year happens daily and we simply do not recognize it without the tinsel and ornaments. We get caught up in daily tasks and stresses and we fail to see the glimpses of Christ among us. Slow down this season. For as early as it might seem—Advent will roll into Christmas and then into the New Year and we'll be left searching for less tangible reminders of Christ's presence soon enough. Stroll through the Christmas section of the store—take in the bright and beautiful symbols of the season which, for us, means Christ is with us.

~Pastor Katie

*"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," written by Edward Pola and George Wyle, 1963.

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