I don’t know how you feel but preparations for Christmas seem to be coming earlier and earlier every year.  The leaves haven’t even begun to change color and fall from the trees when evergreens and Christmas lights find their way into malls and department stores.

Like it or not, the obsession with rushing the seasons and their holidays is here to stay. I just wish we could wait until Thanksgiving dinner is over before we go all out “decking the halls.” But then, that’s me.  I believe the Book of Ecclesiastes when it says, “To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).”

But there is another way to look at it. Oh, I’m not referring to the Santas and the jingle bells. I am not part of the “liturgical police” prohibiting any mention of Christmas during the season of Advent. I mean “the reason for the season” – remembering and celebrating the greatest gift ever given to the world: the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!  When you come right down to it, this one event in the history of humankind cannot be delayed or contained in any one particular time period.  It is for all time!  It affects every other moment of the year with light and grace and hope.   

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.  His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORDof hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:5-6)!

There can never be enough time to reflect upon the birth of Christ and to offer God thanks for the salvation he brings! The mysteries of Christmas are inexhaustible. The earlier, the more often, the more constant our consciousness of Christ, the better for humanity.

Okay, we don’t need a September Santa and yes, I know the secular world is more interested in speeding up the seasonal  “cha-ching” than it is in proclaiming the anniversary of Christ’s birth. But why do we have to give in to its values or let them overwhelm us or obscure Christmas’ truest, deepest meaning.

Let the “glitter and the glow” – whenever it appears – be a reminder of this profound truth of our faith: that “the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us (John 1: 14),” which is “good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2: 10).”   As the popular song goes, “For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute” … whatever, whenever that minute might be!

Merry Christmas and may God’s blessings be with you and your loved ones throughout the New Year!