I have noticed Christmas lights going up around the neighborhoods around me. I have also seen several facebook posts about Christmas lights and outdoor decorations...none of them positive. My favorite was from my friend Patti, who asked that people not put up inflatable decorations before Thanksgiving. I totally agree. Of course, I must admit to everyone, I did put up my lights on the high parts of the house this week. I just couldn't help but take advantage of the 70 degree weather.
So, what sparks the animosity toward putting up Christmas decorations? Is it the commercialism that retail stores are promoting already? Is it the desire to enjoy Halloween and then Thanksgiving to their fullest? Maybe. But I think that something even deeper is driving this.
Our lives move fast enough. The Fall is marked my more than falling leaves. It is also marked by the return of full schedules as school, sports, work, and even church fill the few empty spaces on the calendar. Why would we ever want to make things go even faster by jumping seasons?
Seasons are important. Our lives need seasons. They need the natural rhythms that seasons provide. The craziness of our schedules need to be bounded by something. When we can have a clear start and end in the form of seasons, it allows us to focus and enjoy life.
The same is true of church life. We have seasons in the church to mark important periods in the life of faith. The next season of the church is Advent, in which we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ to earth. But before we get to Advent, we have two more weeks of very important stuff. This is actually the end of the year for the church, and the last Sunday of the year is Christ the King Sunday, a celebration of the victory of Christ over sin and death. This is often overlooked in the celebration of Thanksgiving and the anticipation of Advent. But the victory of the King is reason for Thanksgiving in itself.
So when you see the red and green of next season in the next couple of weeks, let it remind you to celebrate the victory of Christ Jesus, our King.
Practice your faith every day.