“There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Most of us have heard this verse and even the whole passage that it introduces. Sometimes it is used in Memorial Services or Funerals. It is a reminder that there are times for everything. Earlier in the book of Ecclesiastes are these words: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (1:9)
Both of these passages tend to be viewed as discouraging and gloomy. But I think maybe we need to rethink that and find the hope there.
As I write this, Halloween is still two weeks away, but already in the stores we see Christmas decorations. We may bemoan the fact that the commercial world jumps so quickly to the seasons that help make them money. But, maybe we should be taking a bit of their philosophy for ourselves. (I can almost hear the groaning at that statement!)
Frankly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong about anticipating the coming of Christmas. Maybe it gets a little early each year, but if we let that remind us of the wonder of God reaching out to us in the form of the Christ, I don’t think it’s too early.
Advent is the time of waiting for the arrival of something important. And, for the Christian, it is the season when we wait once more for the news of the coming of the Christ. Advent begins this year on the 27th of November. That’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving!
The writer of Ecclesiastes said things are going to keep coming and that there’s a season for every one of those things. This year, let’s not bemoan how early the merchants are placing things in the stores, but let’s remember God’s love and grace each time we see signs of impending Christmas. Let’s find the hope, even in the marketplace!