In the Roman Empire, with its winter solstice festival to bring back the sun, early Christians found a fitting time to celebrate the birth of God’s true son, whose incarnation brings the light of God’s love into our dark and weary world. How appropriate to celebrate with candles, lights, decorated trees and wreaths, and the giving of gifts, to annually welcome the gift of the child!
You’ve probably noted that I’ve spelled “Christmas/s” in this essay with both one and two “s”. Intentionally so. The original and spelling is with double “s” for “Christ Mass”: the service of holy communion at the celebration of the birth of Immanuel (“God with us!”). He is the true light which lightens the darkness of our lives.
And so, if “Christmas is over” as the newsman said, then we are left with just the darkness, the dreariness, the depressing seasonal affective disorder of seemingly endless winter.
If some want to start “preparing” at Halloween, so be it. But it is NOT over on Dec. 25 by any means. So keep the trees up and lit (the earliest they should come down is on Epiphany, Jan. 6), the decorations hung, and the good wishes and carols joyously ringing as long as you can through winter’s dark days! And while you’re at it, if you’re so minded, call WBNG at 729-8812 and tell them that, for you, Christmass is NOT over!
Thanks be to God!
The Rev. Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorPaul R. Messner is pastor of the Otsego County Lutheran Parish.