Wassailing

I’ve got a bone to pick with many other pastors—get off your high horse and sing some Christmas carols! You’ll notice that we have already been slipping them into worship at Covenant.

You may not be privy to these conversations, but I have heard many a discussion amongst pastors (especially Presbyterian ones) who insist on holding off on the Christmas carols until right before Christmas—some even insist on not singing Christmas carols until Christmas eve!

The reasoning for this goes something like this: “Advent is a season that teaches us about waiting, so we need to wait to sing Christmas Carols.”

To which I respond: No Advent means Coming (Remember that one from years of children’s messages at Covenant?). Advent is about Christ coming, not just on December 25th, but all the ways in which Christ is constantly coming into our lives. It is about anticipation, it is about preparation, but there is nothing that says you can’t sing joyous carols to prepare yourself for the constant coming of Christ. We totally miss the point when we make advent a long slog to the finish line—it’s not that Christ only comes on December 25th, it is that we should be preparing our hearts for the constant arrival of Christ. We should be aware that every day and every moment are filled with new opportunities to invite Christ in, to rediscover the Christ Child in our lives.

Frankly, to insist on waiting on Dec 25th is foolish to begin with. There is a strong likelihood that Jesus was not born anywhere close to December 25th. According to the gospel of Luke, Mary was visited by the angel to announce the conception in the 6th month. In the Jewish calendar that is Elul which falls sometime in August or September by our calendar, meaning that a birthdate somewhere around May or June is much more likely (not that this even matters).

I really don’t think the date is so  important. I think what is important is that we are constantly looking for ways to open our hearts to the Christ Child in our every day lives, and if singing Christmas Carols does that for people, then we ought to be singing them a lot more often.

Lastly, this is still one place where the church has a profound impact on secular culture. Just tune in to your local Christmas station this time of year. Why we would forfeit one of our last bastions of influence for a foolish notion of what it means to wait? We should be embracing this and welcoming people in to sing with us!

That is why we are partnering once again with 1st Pres, 2nd Pres, SOTV, Placitas, La Mesa, and Camino De Vida to go Wassailing. Next Tuesday, December 16th at 7pm we will gather with sisters and brothers in Christ at LaCumbre Brewery to sing out our favorite Christmas Carols for all to hear.

What is Wassailing you ask? It is the age old practice of singing to the orchards and enjoying the fruit of fermentation so that the orchards will produce an abundant crop the following year. The practice of Caroling grew out of this tradition, as did many of our favorite Christmas Carols.

We will be replacing the orchard with a brewery, but there still promises to be carols to sing and beverages to enjoy. Everyone’s welcome, so invite your friends! We hope to see you there!

If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly.

So let’s prepare ourselves for Christ’s continual coming by singing joyously! Look forward to joining you all in song next Tuesday!

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