21 Dec 2016
Since about Halloween, it seems, we’ve been hearing Christmas music in the stores. And so, I was surprised yesterday when I went to a store and . . . the Christmas music was gone. And all the Christmas decorations were in one corner of the store, all discounted. It was kind of sad. I wanted to say, “Hey, we haven’t even had Christmas yet . . . what happened to Christmas?”
But that’s just how it is, I guess; it’s just one season in the cycle of retail life. And now they’ve moved onto Spring and, pretty soon, Easter. Meanwhile, in the hearts of Christians, we’re just ramping up now to our Christmas festivities: four days away. The birth of Our Savior is a bright spot in our hearts and minds right now.
And so, keeping the spirit of Advent and Christmas alive and real has to begin with us; with us who hold these celebrations very near to our heart. And what we hold close to us is that spirit of hope and joy and anticipation that Christ will come again. We hold that spirit so close that it’s almost like a secret; like a secret joy.
Two thousand years ago, a secret joy was shared between Mary and Elizabeth—while the world was unaware. And, today, that same secret is shared among all believers. Our task is to spread that secret—not necessarily shouting from the rooftops, but maybe by whispering that secret again to someone who’s forgotten about it.
In our own quiet way, like Mary and Elizabeth, may we share the hope of Advent, and the eternal joy of Christmas.