‘Til The Season Comes ‘Round Again - 12/24/2012

Sermon Text: The Nativity as told by Luke (Luke 2)

   I read a story by an Episcopal priest from New York City, recently. He talked about walking from his apartment in Greenwich Village to his church, near Midtown Manhattan. It was Christmas morning and he had a service at 11:00 am. At about 9:30, as he neared the church, he walked past an apartment building and noticed that someone had thrown a Christmas tree away. 9:30 on Christmas morning and someone had already removed all the lights, taken down the ornaments, removed the stand and had taken the tree outside to be disposed of. Now how sad is that? 9:30 on Christmas morning and the celebration is over. I guess the thought was, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over. New Year’s Eve is only a week away and I’ve got a party to plan.”
   In modern America it’s really a wonder we don’t see this sort of thing more often. After all, the “Season,” starts as soon as the stores begin taking down their Halloween displays … if they even put one up, that is. Back in October we already start hearing Christmas carols over store PA systems and seeing commercials on television with references to Santa, reindeer and, of course, gift giving. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, there is a full-scale shopping frenzy in American malls. Black Friday has been moved to Thursday … It’s all so crazy!
   By mid-December, this country has been so completely inundated by the “details,” of Christmas for such a long time, and has had to deal with so much pressure from commercial America, with its demand for bigger and better present buying, that the whole country is burned out on Christmas long before this evening arrives!
   But WAIT! There is a counter-cultural message of the Church that MUST be shared! Our Message is this:

Christmas is NOT a day … and most assuredly not a day that ends as soon as the wrapping paper is stuffed into a garbage bag. No, Christmas is NOT a day … it is a SEASON. And it does NOT begin in October … it BEGINS after sundown on Christmas Eve.

Read Full Sermon here (PDF)