No sooner then the orange and black of Halloween is put up, it seems it is replaced with the red and white of the “holiday season”. No transition, no pause for refection, no chance to consider the event or season. It just happens. Although most of the Christmas parties will happen in December, I can guarantee, 90% of the stores on Nov. 4th will be fully decorated with candy canes, stockings and Santas.
It is hard for us to be reconciled with this kind of “instant holiday” season. It is not reflected in our scripture readings, our hymns, our fasting, in fact it endangers the whole point of what we prepare for, the reception of our Saviour.
We are given a period of preparation to consider and prefect the gifts for those in material and spiritual need of charity, mercy, and love. We are given a period of preparation to consider and perfect the gifts we offer to the new born Christ. Sacrifices of praise (Heb. 13:15) , Sacrifices of broken and contrite hearts (Ps. 50:17).
These gifts don’t happen automatically, you can’t purchase them, neither can you just absorb them (even by going to Church)! They take work and time to craft, and prepare. This is why we are given the opportunity before hand, to fast, to pray, and to offer works of mercy. It is only in the process of preparation, the process of working towards something like Christmas, that we truly learn too love and offer something of ourselves, to the Lord and to the world around us. A most precious gift indeed.
May the Lord bless this month as we begin our fast, bringing us to his most holy Nativity in the flesh.