Friday, February 23, 2018

Journeys in Faith

The true Christmas Church season

Christmas receives a lot of attention. This is good. But by sundown Dec. 25, many people consider Christmas over.
It isn’t.
The true Christmas Church season begins Dec. 25, not when you start seeing Christmas displays in stores and hearing carols on the radio earlier every year. The Christmas Holy-Days are Dec. 25 to Jan. 6, when the wise men’s visit is celebrated on Epiphany. The whole Christmas Holy-Days season deserves to receive even more attention than Christmas, especially Jan. 1.
New Year’s Day receives a lot of attention. But most people do not celebrate Jan. 1 for the reason the Church and annual calendars were set up the way they are, including why Christmas is Dec. 25.
The Church begins every year celebrating The Circumcision and Name of Jesus on Jan. 1. God commanded Jewish boys to be circumcised and named eight days after they were born as a sign of His covenant with the Jews as His chosen people. Jewish Joseph and Mary had Jesus circumcised and, most importantly, named eight days after He was born. Eight days before Jan. 1, is Dec. 25, counting Christmas as day 1; Dec. 25 plus 8 days equals Jan. 1.
The Church and annual calendars, including Christmas Day, were set up so we begin every year celebrating The Circumcision and Name of Jesus. This is more important and deserves even more attention than Christmas and Epiphany.
Everything God did through His Son that is celebrated at Christmas as the promised Messiah, as our Savior on His cross remembered on Good Friday, and by His empty tomb celebrated Easter Sunday is summarized in His name, Jesus, with His title, Christ. That’s why the Church and annual calendars were set up for us to begin every new year celebrating The Circumcision and Name of Jesus, The Christ. Yet, very few people do so. Instead, most people have been led astray and given into the cultural habits of drinking too much alcohol, watching parades and college football, and eating. These activities closely resemble faithless pagan festivals.
The truth is, God saves no one’s soul just because Jesus’ birth has been celebrated, that probably was not on Dec. 25 anyway, but was much more likely in Spring of the ancient Jewish calendar.
God saves souls who trust and believe what His Son did on Good Friday and overcame on Easter Sunday that is summarized, acknowledged and titled by His name, Christ Jesus.
So, how will you begin 2018, with another hangover? Or, celebrating the Name above all names only by which a soul can be saved? St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Park City will be celebrating Monday Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. Call Pr. Russ Dewell at (406) 633-2356 if you are a Lutheran and would like to receive Communion.
Everyone is welcome to attend to be blessed during Communion. That’s the attention the beginning of 2018 deserves.