The Word — Getting ready for Christmas already?

Published 5:39 pm Saturday, November 19, 2022

Christmas has already arrived at my house. Or at least it has made an appearance. My family moved to our new home in spring of 2022, so this is our first Christmas here. My wife is excited to decorate and celebrate and children are at the perfect age to be captivated by the lights and sounds and feel of Christmas. And me…well, I wouldn’t have decorated yet.

But it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I sort of like it.

I like it because the story of Christmas isn’t concerned with one season of the year. Instead, it is a story of hope in the face of despair, peace in the face of conflict and uproar, joy in the face of grief and sadness, and love in the face of hatred.

And that’s a story that we need to hear now. In fact, that’s a story that we might need to hear year-round.

Of course, my pastoral colleagues and devout neighbors might well remind me that the season of Christmas doesn’t technically start until December 25, but we are even now entering a season of transition, of reflection, and of waiting; in just a week we will begin the season of Advent. And that is a season where we remind ourselves of all the elements of the story just mentioned.

So, even though it is early, I want to share a few of the words of hope, peace, joy, and love that many Christian traditions will read during Advent:

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. (Luke 1:46b-48)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2)

All of these verses are the words spoken before the first coming of Jesus, reminding people of the hope, peace, joy, and love of God. I don’t know about you, but I need to hear those words now. So I’m ready for Christmas already.

Rev. Dr. J. Adam Tyler is the Senior Pastor for Farmville Baptist Church and he can be reached by email at pastor@farmvillebaptist.org.