So as I write this post, I am preparing for Christmas. I have let our maintenance crew, as well as the congregation, know that we will not be taking down Christmas decorations until January 12th.
So my hope is, that when this post goes live a few days after Christmas, the decorations are in fact still up. If not, I suppose the title of this post would be “Why does the Pastor Want the Christmas Decorations to Stay Up?”.
The answer to this question is sort of the same reason we don’t sing very many of the most beloved Christmas carols before Christmas Eve – it’s a liturgical issue.
And by liturgical, I mean that it’s a church season issue.
And as many of you know, I sort of love the church seasons (hence the hair color that changes to match the new season).
So during the season of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we are in a season of waiting – waiting to celebrate Christmas.
But Christmas isn’t just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – the Christmas liturgical (church) season actually continues for two Sundays. So this year, Sunday January 1st and Sunday January 8th are both Sundays of Christmas!
It’s just one more way the church is counter-cultural. In our culture sometime before Thanksgiving the Christmas carols hit the radio, the decorations go up, and we begin a month-or-more long celebration. In the church, we wait. We sing and pray of waiting to celebrate during the season of Advent, and then when everyone else is beginning to throw away their Christmas trees and vow to never listen to carols again – here we are, still celebrating.
So why are the decorations still up? Why might we still be singing those beloved songs? Because our Savior was born on Christmas Day and we are still praising the incredible love and mercy we have been given through this child in a manger.