Tis the season – is a refrain that is sung and words that are heard as we pass one another during the holidays. Tis the season for Thanksgiving. Tis the season to write cards and letters to loved ones and those we haven’t connected with since last year’s Christmas card. Tis the season to consider a special gift for a special someone in your life. Tis the season for caroling and cookies. Tis the season for laughter and merry-making. Tis the season for celebrating the birth of Jesus.
There are many seasons in our lives and most are marked by traditions and rituals that we have become accustom. At a birth we celebrate with baby showers, picture announcements and baptism. At a marriage we celebrate with parties, weddings, honeymoons and receptions. At a death we hold vigils of wakes and viewings, memorials, funerals, and dinners. Graduations, awards, anniversaries, birthdays, retirements and vacations all include assumptions of what we always do to mark the occasion.
As we enter into the season of Christmas, we will mark the occasion of the birth of Jesus in a variety of ways at home and in our congregational life. Listen to the words spoken to shepherds, “Look! I bring you good news – wonderful, joyous news for all people” (Luke 2:10). The shepherds were so caught up in this announcement, it moved them from an ordinary night to go see and confirm an extraordinary event. Remember that no traditions and rituals surrounding Christmas today were present on the night Jesus was born. When is the last time you were moved to leave behind the ordinary and tradition to go see something extraordinary. The Good News of Christmas is indeed wonderful and joyous. The birth of Jesus is God’s announcement for all people.
Friends, as we enjoy our seasonal traditions and rituals, be attentive to Good News that you have never heard before. God is alive in the world and is saying to you, “Go and see and tell people about my love that has come to all of creation.” Tis the season to be joyous and wonder-filled.