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A Season Out Of Sync With The Wider Culture

As an Anglican [in the USA], observing advent, is one of those things that puts me out of sync with the broader culture that I live in. Advent is the beginning of the Christian church year. This is a season of waiting with anticipation. It is sort of like a miniature Lent. It is a time of quietness, darkness, contemplation, and stillness. Some people take up a special time of devotion, others, light candles, others have a wreath in their home. But, our new year starts with contemplation of Christ coming. Then, on December 24, Christmas Eve, we celebrate that Jesus has finally arrived. And that is just the beginning.

Christmas is a season that extends from Christmas Eve all the way through January 5. On December 26 if I turn on a popular radio station, all the Christmas music will be gone. In my culture, Christmas is over. It’s just one day with a lot of hype before it. But as an Anglican, we continue to celebrate the arrival of Jesus. And then, on January 6, we celebrate Epiphany.

I love this season of Epiphany. The word itself means unveiling, revealing. On the first Sunday of Epiphany, we celebrate the arrival of the wisemen at Jesus‘s home, and the way that they truly saw who he was and worshiped him, and we too, are invited to worship. We are invited to give thanks for the way in which God himself has opened our eyes and enabled us to see his true Messiah.

All of this, puts me slightly out of sync with the wider culture. My New Year begins in late November early December. And it begins with waiting on God and looking forward to what God will do. When the secular new year arrives, it’s actually right in the middle of Christmas, the time when we celebrate the arrival of Jesus himself. And, when my culture has moved on to analyzing, whether or not, it’s made it a week into the New Year’s with resolutions in tact, my church is looking at the Wiseman, who first saw Jesus for who he truly was.

Celebrating advent Christmas and Epiphany in these ways reminds me of the culture that I want to belong to, the kingdom I want to belong to, and being out of sync, with the culture is a way of reminding myself of the narrative that I want to live into.


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