Tis’ the Season!
And so, it is. Have you really taken time to think about this phrase? These three little words that are synonymous with Christmas? “Tis’ the Season! What do they mean? We say them all the time. We don’t say things like that at Thanksgiving. Instead, we say things like “I’m thankful for_____” and then we insert in the blank anything that we are thankful (hopefully to God) for. So, if we understand that Thanksgiving is about giving “thanks”, what does “Tis’ the Season mean”? Simple enough question right, or is it?
I recently read a post on social media that said, “Thanksgiving is a holiday, Christmas is a season!” The post was both right and wrong. The post was wrong in that Thanksgiving is only a holiday. Yes, it’s a holiday in that we set aside a day to gather with friends and family to enjoy a meal together. However, as I said earlier we do so to offer thanks for what we have and what’s been done for us. Such an action is a simple enough concept to understand. But Thanksgiving, much like Christmas (which I will get to briefly) is more than just a single day. Thanksgiving is also season. Thanksgiving is about developing “an attitude of gratitude” to prepare us for what Christmas is about, the birth of Jesus Christ.
The post is also wrong in that Christmas is just a season. This most notorious of holidays is more than just a season, Christmas is a way of life. Let me explain. The author of Ecclesiastes says that, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” That’s simple enough to understand meaning that for everything in life there is a time for these experiences. However, with our modern understanding of “season” what we think is the “Spirit,” who is present during the holidays, somehow manages to disappear December 26th. We think, much to our chagrin, that the “season” is over so let’s get back to whatever we consider to be normal. I would argue that the Spirit never leaves and instead what we see at Christmas should be a way of life.
Now let’s go back and consider the phrase “Tis’ the Season” to see my point. Yes, “Tis’ the season” for Christmas trees, cookies, presents, candy canes, etc. However, it’s also the season for increased depression, acute awareness of loneliness, loss of hope, financial distress. The list could go on and on as I’m sure I’m only scraping the surface with what I’ve said. How then do we reconcile both Thanksgiving and Christmas as seasons and also as a way of life? We do so by understanding what that post got right about Christmas.
Christmas is important in that it carries with it so much weight because of what it stands for. I would argue that we as a society are moving quickly away from the true meaning of Christmas with “all that glitters and shines.” I say that because when you get down to it there is just something special about Christmas and this is how I think both holidays feed into each other; informing us as Christians in how to live. First, Thanksgiving reminds us of what Christ has done for us. Second, Christmas reminds us of the truth that Jesus not only came for you, but for everybody. We see that in John 3:16 in the “whosever will.” As such if Christ came for “all mankind” then what should our attitude be towards others? Do they get lost behind the Christmas tree that’s blocking our view? Do we think of them as mere annoyances as we try to drive in crazy holiday traffic and get cut off as we shop for more Christmas gifts? Or perhaps more importantly, do we even take time to think about those who are suffering during this season? Do we miss the meaning of being thankful for an indescribable gift and extending this same gift to others? Christ came for us all; His grace and mercy extends to us all. They don’t stop at your front door as you head out to face another day.
Yes, thanksgiving is a holiday, and so is Christmas. But I would argue more. They are also symbols to us of a greater reality already settled in Heaven through the blood of Jesus. They are proclaimers of how we should live our life in light of a Savior who came to give His all for us when we didn’t deserve it. These seasons also beg the question of, “Are you doing the same for others?” I hope so!
December 2nd at 5:30 PM
Thanksgiving/Christmas Fellowship Dinner
December 3rd – 24th
Sunday Mornings Before Worship Services
December 13th at 6:30 PM
Move Night & Fellowship Following ,
December 20th at 6:30 PM
Candle Light Service