Maybe you didn’t grow up celebrating the four Sundays of Advent. I didn’t. Even less, the 12 Days of Christmas. We’ve made an effort to change that this year with our series on both of these practices. We are enjoying the spirit of giving through our 12 days of gifts for you. They continue through the 5th of January. I hope you’re enjoying them. (Click HERE to learn more if you’ve missed them. You have until January 31, 2020 to get them.)
But, why are these celebrations important? Why are we doing it?
As you might expect, at Veritas, we enjoy history. Some of us like studying history simply for the sake of learning about the past. But all of us value learning from the past in order to live in the present.
One thing I learned all too well from my public school education was that the most important event in history, the Incarnation, wasn’t important enough to my teachers for them to teach it to me. Back then there was no temptation to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Yet, the birth of Christ, His life, His sacrifice and Resurrection were missing from my learning at school. And of course they were. We live in a country where there is to be a separation of church and state—even if the concept has been twisted to mean something it was never intended to mean.
My parents didn’t want me to think historic Christianity wasn’t important. They just didn’t really think about the consequences of their choices. They didn’t realize what was going on and where it might lead. It wasn’t that we didn’t sing Christmas Carols or have a Christ-centered Christmas. We did. But we lived in both worlds. We were part of the descent into what many experience today; a life that learns little from the past. We were holding on with little sense of what went before us. We developed our own traditions and practices—many of which my family has continued. What we didn’t do was connect to the practices of the past.
Since you are reading this, you’ve likely been homeschooling your children or sending them to a Christian school. Yet, many of us are caught up in today’s practices. We know little about the traditions of the past—of our Christian ancestors—and we frequently fail to consider if what we are doing is better.
We should all be interested in seeing the Gospel prevail “as the waters cover the sea” (Habakuk 2:14). Our very mission at Veritas is “Restoring culture to Christ one young heart and mind at time.” One way we do this is to build on the past. That includes its Christian practices. Another way is to build bridges among different Christian practices. In so doing we build connection to the past, unity for today, and hope for tomorrow.
The practice of celebrating Advent and enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas is one clear, easy way to say to our children and the watching world that the first Christmas is the central event in all of history. So, whether you are accustomed recognizing the liturgical year or think of Christian holidays in a less formal sense, we encourage you to prepare your children and yourselves for the coming Christ in Advent celebration and enjoy the extended version with a practice of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Now, some will say, “Aren’t you a little late for this message?” My answer is simple. No, I’m 11 months early.
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