Christmas Greetings from Fr. Joel
The country has been launched with incredible vigor into the “holiday” shopping season for months now. This started as early as Halloween. In the past, I might have decried the fact that the “Holiday Season” began earlier and earlier each year.
However, I decided a while ago that this might be, perhaps, a good thing. I am not saying that commercialism and materialism are good things. Instead, I am saying it is a wondrous fact that in the midst of rampant materialism, many Christians are able to pause and think about something other than themselves.
We remember that there are others. We seem to be more willing to help the poor and the needy. Some of us give to worthy charities. Many of us wish our neighbors a Merry Christmas and really mean it! Some of us may have been lighting candles on Sundays in Advent. We recall the birth of our hope and our salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God. Let me encourage everyone to enjoy the season of Christmas. It is okay to listen to carols and put up decorations earlier than Christmas and keep them up for all of Christmastide.
We begin our Christmas, as Anglicans worldwide will, in the late afternoon (4:00 p.m) and the late evening (10:00 p.m.) on Monday, December 24. Jesus Christ is the reason for Christmas. It is Christ’s Mass. God the Son came to humankind in a nearly incomprehensible act of divine humility to become one of us, as a helpless child in Bethlehem, more than two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ came that he might redeem all of us. That was and is the “Good News” for everyone in all God’s creation! It is the gift available to all of us free for the taking. It is the best gift of all. God chose to reconcile with us while we were yet sinners.
The Twelve Days of Christmastide conclude on Sunday, January 6. So, celebrate for all of Christmastide and rejoice in the wonder that is the person of Jesus who has come to save us.
Have a blessed and glorious Christmastide,