Advent is Counter-Cultural

Quick post that is a little late (obviously).

When Christians celebrate Christmas in conjunction with Advent and Epiphany, they are being countercultural.  They are saying “wait on Christmas” when we refrain from overdoing things, at least until December 25.  They are saying “it’s not over” when our celebrations last until January 6.  Christians who starting blaring Silent Night on Thanksgiving Day and take down the tree as soon as the grandkids pull out of the driveway aren’t doing things very different from their pagan neighbors.  Our actions indeed reveal our true thoughts on the matter, and what we are saying is that Christmas – despite some nice rhetoric from the preacher – is nothing very special.

When the Christian community mourns and laments its way to December 24, it says to the world that not only has the Savior come, but that the world – you and me – actually needs Him.  To sing “far as the curse is found” is that much more relevant when our communal life actually demonstrates our need.  So for Christians who are anxious to distinguish themselves from their secular society, Advent and Epiphany are easy and obvious ways to demonstrate that following Christ indeed sets one apart.

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