Ian (ringbark) wrote,
Ian
ringbark

Decorations and the Christmas Season

It's a while since I posted a message by email so if something goes
wrong, I'll post it properly later.
More and more, people are announcing that they have taken down their
Christmas decorations. Why? Now, I am the first to admit that there is
no Biblical justification for having them in the first place, and the
early church didn't have them, possibly also in part for the same
reasons as Iraqi Christians today choose not to.
But the timing is wrong. Christmas isn't over till after the Festival
of the Epiphany, Twelfth Night, the visit of the Wise Guys, which we
celebrate on January 6th.
Christmas isn't over after 25th - that's when it begins. Up to that
point, it's Advent, a time of penitence and reflection as we look
forward to remembering Christ's first coming as a baby and also look
forward to his second coming in glory as King. The season changes at
Christmas, as does the mood, from one of expectation to one of
celebration.
That is why we should not stop our celebration before Epiphany. It
also suggests that maybe we shouldn't be too hasty to put the
decorations up early either. We don't put our decorations up more than
a couple of days before Christmas, but that is for practical reasons,
rather than theological ones.
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