We are entering four of my favorite seasons of the year! Winter is certainly considered a single season, occurring in December, January and February on the calendar.  But on the church calendar, these months lead us on a spiritual journey through four different seasons.  In order to appreciate the beauty of each season, we must understand them.

ADVENT (November 27-December 24) — Long ago, church leaders made a decision that we should do more than merely spread the celebration of Christmas over four weeks and actually incorporate a season of waiting, setting aside time to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ. They called it “Advent.” Christmas consumerism says, “Hurry up! Buy, Buy, Buy!” Advent says, “Slow down. Wait.” It is a season which offers us time to invest in relationships instead of simply being concerned with things such as wrapping paper and to make the most of this wonderful treasure called time that God has given us.

CHRISTMAS (December 25-January 5) — “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is not merely a song about rings, turtle doves, French hens and a partridge. It is a reminder that Christmas is more than a single day of celebration; Christmas itself is a season. We are invited to celebrate for 12 days the “good news of great joy,” reminding us that “unto us is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ is Lord!”

Christmas doesn’t change anything. Christmas changes everything. Because of the incarnation, God is with us. The child born in Bethlehem is still among us. So, come let us adore Him!

EPIPHANY (January 6-February 21) — Epiphany literally means “shining forth.” Epiphany is the season commemorating the time when wise men traveled from far away to see the newborn Savior.  Epiphany is the season when we are called not only to celebrate, but to carefully consider how this once newborn babe will change our lives. We find new purpose during this season.  We may not be guided by an ancient star, but we will still find direction if we follow the same Light.  

This Epiphany, the good news of the Gospel is that:
It takes only one life to change our world.
It takes only one light to pierce the darkness.

LENT (February 22-April 8) — Lent is a season of sacrifice. The Lenten season culminates with Holy Week events, including Jesus’ death on the cross.  Jesus gave not simply something, but everything.  Jesus offered not only his love, but also his very life.  Lent calls us to contemplation and to reflection and invites us into the shadow of the cross.  

Baptists have traditionally been a bit unsure about Lent, thinking the whole season sounds a “little too Catholic” for our comfort. But Lent is not about making us more Catholic or. for that matter. more comfortable. Lent is a call for us to be more deeply Christian. If we agree to put aside our preconceived notions and embrace the experience, it might just change our lives.

Three months and four seasons encompassing many opportunities to encounter The Christ and to grow deeper in faith.

It really is “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Pastor Chris

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