Pastor, Let Our Gladness Have No End

I know there are many reasons for pastors to be concerned about the “commercialization” of Christmas, and generally most every pastor I know goes through his “I must rail against it” period. But hopefully, most grow out of it. I know I did. Pastors should realize that people gathering for Advent services and Christmastide services are there precisely because they do know, and love, the reason for the season: Christ. So, dear pastor, please stow the “Bah! Humbug!” attitude. You are just preaching to the choir. The faithful are joyful at this time of year, not because of the trappings and trinkets, but because of the Savior. Can we agree that the best way to “combat” the crass secularization of this season is not to send congregants on guilt trips about Christmas customs and holiday traditions? Pastor, we don’t need you to tell us how Christmas is too commercialized. We know it. Tell us of how much we need a Savior, and why, but don’t let your preaching of the Law at the time of year turn into a scold or nagging. Please help us take great joy in our Savior’s birth. Point us to the wonderful love Incarnate. Yes, point out our sins, but don’t let your Advent or Christmas sermons consume themselves with negative rants against the way “the world” comports itself. Raise our hearts, souls and minds to something better. Besides, you just never know who might be listening to you who has not been in church in a very long time, a person returning home to the community of the body of Christ. So, let our gladness have no end. Take joy in Christmas. Don’t let anything, or anyone, rob us of that joy.

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