A year ago, I wrote a post called “Countercultural Advent,” in which I expressed the idea that we in liturgical churches are really contrary to the mainstream — namely, that we don’t sing Christmas carols until Christmas Eve, and the season before Christmas — Advent —is considered a penitential season.
This year we are even more countercultural — because after Thanksgiving, we had one more Sunday left in the church year — Christ the King. Even Pastor Jeff Lilley noted in his sermon last Sunday that this was a rare occurrence, and completely outside of the mainstream culture. After all, many retail stores set up their Christmas displays BEFORE Halloween, and last year I noted that some were playing Christmas carols BEFORE Thanksgiving. Pastor Jeff said that one would have thought that “not one thing happened in the United States on the Friday after Thanksgiving!” because Black Friday completely eclipsed the news media. No one mentioned the ceasefire in Gaza — all they reported on was the hordes of people who spent hours in line to get a Black Friday deal on a flat-screen TV or some other electronic gadget with a limited lifespan. One family even set up a card table and had their Thanksgiving dinner waiting in line! As for me, I stayed as far away from a retail store as possible, and did not even shop online either.
I invite you to come this Sunday, December 2nd at 7:30 pm, to the 38th Annual Advent Procession at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. Click here for the link on the church’s website which describes this beloved program.
Oh, and by the way, here’s a copy of the notice which came to my email box yesterday: