I’m not sure where you stand on this whole, “It’s too early for Christmas” continuum. But I’ve decided it’s really more of a moving target. Sometimes even mid-December seems too early then – another year – I just can’t wait.
Well this year looks to be a green light for getting the ball rolling right now, and there are a couple of factors that have contributed.
- First, construction and rehearsals are well underway at our church for the annual “Walk Through Bethlehem” experience, our Christmas card to the community. We offer it early (this year it’s Nov 30 through December 2) because we want people to have an up-front opportunity to get the story right and head into the holidays with the good news about Jesus front and center.
- Then Rebekah and I wandered into Lowes the other day to check out the decorations. And there, right in the middle of the palm trees, Christmas reached outand grabbed our heartstrings.
Yes, I know it’s only November 18 and this week it’s going to be Thanksgiving. I promise we’re not going to let that beautiful celebration of gratitude be absorbed into the Christmas machine and come out the other end boxed, wrapped in a bow and covered in tinsel. But I am beginning to feel a very real glow of anticipation.
I simply can’t stop myself. This year, for me, Thanksgiving can’t help but be the perfect prelude for Advent. Think about it… could there be any better way to get our hearts ready to receive the newborn king other than first filling them with gratitude?
The initial order of business, though, is to show up at church for worship today. On my gratitude checklist, the community of faith always ranks close to the top. How could any single one of us possibly stay away…?
Listen, I can already hear the angel voices…
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.