According to the church year, Christmas doesn’t technically begin until December 25th. It’s Advent that begins after Thanksgiving. But since when did “corporate America” follow the church year! “Christmas time” has begun with all its craziness and stress. And in the midst of all of that we remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. This is where our Christian traditions come in.
I get busier during this time because we follow a tradition of holding services on Wednesday during Advent. I would like to strongly encourage you to attend these three services. You have heard me speak of LINC (Lutheran Inter-City Network Coalition) as a new mission organization for our city. These three weeks we will focus upon three revolutionary ideas that I believe will reinvigorate the Lutheran church in the Twin Cities. Also make a point to attend our Sunday School Christmas Program, “All Creation Worships Him.” This is the Christmas story told from a new perspective: the animals. On Christmas Eve we’ll let the carols tell the story as we sing to our newborn Savior. And don’t forget to worship on Christmas Day as our joyous worship bursts out of these walls and our song takes to the streets and rings through our neighborhood. Don’t worry, hot chocolate awaits back at Bethel.
“We’re going to have Christmas at ______’s house, and then we’ll have Christmas at _______’s house and then at _______’s party and then…” What do we mean when we say that? Is Christmas something we “have”? No, when we speak of “having Christmas,” we’re talking about the gifts. When you “have” the gifts you “have” Christmas. I invite you to change your vocabulary this year. Make a tradition in your home that Christmas is not “had” but it is celebrated. Worship God together. Sings songs together. Remember Jesus: God made man for us. Remember what that Child would eventually do for you on the cross. Don’t forget to say “Thank-you.” Who knows, maybe a new tradition will develop in your family. Rather than “having Christmas,” perhaps Christmas will have you.