Thanksgiving 2012 is now history. Most of us are probably having ham or turkey sandwiches today along with the usual leftovers. Some may even complain about leftovers while much of the world is still hungry. Christmas decorations have been hanging in the Big*Box stores since Halloween, their second biggest retail season only to Christmas, due largely to our culture's fascination with the occult and the vampire craziness of late in television and motion pictures. Black Friday is now being pushed to Thursday, even sooner on some internet shopping sites. Jesus and His birth are almost forgotten by much of our quasi-religious and atheistic culture.
A good way for the individual and the church to remember the signifigence of this Christmas Season is the observance of the four Sundays of Advent. Our Catholic and most of our mainline churches already observe Advent. Sadly, many of our Wesleyan and sister churches do not. At best, some will celebrate with a service after Thanksgiving such as"Hanging of the Greens." This is great, but why stop there.
Advent Dates for 2012
• December 2 - First Sunday of Advent
• December 9 - Second Sunday of Advent
• December 16 - Third Sunday of Advent
• December 23 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24. When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is the last, or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier, on November 15, and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.
Why not light a candle and read the complimentary Scriptures leading up to Christmas? This only takes a few minutes during the morning worship service and helps us to focus on what happened two thousand years ago. Its also great to hear Scripture in our Bible starved society. of today. That's what I think anyway...what are your thoughts? keith 1 Cor 13
Keith Kiper is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church. He currently serves as Media Pastor at Boonville Wesleyan Church. He is married to Vicky. The Kiper's have a grown daughter Kristen, a Maltipoo named Opie, a Cockerpoo named Jackson and two cats.