Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Letters from the Soul: This Month's Newsletter Column + Preaching Schedule

December 2013: "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Dear Church,

I think the holiday season officially begun when the Starbucks near my apartment put peppermint mochas back on their menu, or maybe it was when I stopped in at Safeway and saw cupcakes for sale that had red and green frosting. And yes, both of those things looked nice. But the Starbucks menu swap I noticed on November 4, and the cupcakes I saw on November 18…a full ten days before Thanksgiving!

So it looks like it is official after all—at least, by the only two yardsticks that really matter: cupcakes and sugary coffee drinks. The holiday season is officially starting earlier than ever.

And you know what? If all it was were the cupcakes and coffee drinks, you probably wouldn’t hear a peep out of me—if only because of my sweet tooth! But with each passing year, I worry that by pushing the holiday season up earlier and earlier, we risk holiday overload and burnout by the time the actual holiday of Christmas Day rolls around.

After all, Christmas is not supposed to merely last one day out of the year—it is supposed to last for twelve, and that isn’t just because your true love gave you twelve drummers drumming. The church’s liturgical calendar calls for twelve days of celebration of Christ’s birth, which traditionally denotes the time between his birth and the arrival of the Magi, or wise men.

Truthfully, have you ever reached Christmas Day and thought to yourself, “Phew, it’s over! We made it to the finish line! No more holiday season for another 11 months?” I would imagine a lot of us have at one point or another…or maybe even every year! And if so, let us strive to remember this time around the eleven days of Christmas that follow the first, when our true love gave us a partridge in a pear tree!

I wish a very safe and merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you and yours this holiday season!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Eric

Advent 2013 sermon series: “A Place at the Table: An Advent in Solidarity with the Poor”

December 1: “From Consuming to Sharing,” Isaiah 58:6-12
December 8: “Miracle Bread,” Isaiah 25:6-10
December 15: “Tools,” Isaiah 2:1-5
December 22: “Fasting and Feasting,” Isaiah 26:16-19
December 24 (Christmas Eve, 7:00 pm): “In the Highest Heaven,” Luke 2:1-20

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