Around our church family in recent years I have heard the phrase, “Sweet December.”
The phrase comes from the Karen people of Burma, many of whom have come to Canada as refugees because of persecution in their own country. Some of these sweet people are in our church family at Calvary.
The Karen people are mainly Baptist in a country that is only about four per cent Christian. December is such an important month for the Karen people that they stay up all night on Nov. 30 singing and worshipping God to welcome in the month which marks the birth of Christ. And throughout the month, groups would go about the villages singing Christmas carols.
In Canada, our church does something similar. We celebrate Advent. Advent is that four-week period that leads up to Christmas on Dec. 25 when we celebrate the birth of Jesus into the world.
We believe he was born of the virgin Mary, and in the most humble manner was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Jesus is Emmanuel which means, “God with us.”
December is no ordinary month for us who believe, for even the cold and darkness is illuminated with light and warmth by the Son of God. As it is written, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)
He who is the light of the world illuminates sweet December for us. And through faith in Jesus we are filled with joy, hope, him.
I am so thankful for the many churches in Moose Jaw who continue to celebrate Advent today and hold up the standard of thankfulness for the birth of our lord and only saviour Jesus Christ.
Advent will be celebrated entirely in December this year with the first Sunday of Advent being on Dec. 3, which is tomorrow. This will be a special Sunday for us at our 11 a.m. service at Calvary Baptist Church. We will have our sanctuary all decorated, the children will be prepared to love and peace in enact a nativity scene during the children’s time, and we will sing Christmas carols like Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
After the service at noon we will also have our International Christmas Banquet. Consider yourselves all invited.
P.S. I would like to thank the staff of the Times-Herald for giving me the opportunity to write so many articles for the faith page. I deeply appreciate you all.