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by Rev. Erica Thompson

Andy Williams’ 1963 holiday hit “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” portrays an idyllic season where all are happy and of good cheer, where parties and friends and reminiscing abound, where jingle bells and carols and mistletoe are everywhere.

For some, December is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. For others, Williams’ lyrics do not describe the reality in which they find themselves; there is stress and anxiety, there is loneliness, there are health concerns, deep grief, overwhelming worry about the state of world.

And then we hear that line: “Tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” And we are brought back to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph, a stable and a manger. In my mind’s eye I see shepherds on a hill and I hear the bleating of sheep. I see a chorus of angels and I hear those words, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy!” I see the light from a star and I remember the glory of the birth of Christ, Immanuel, God with us. 

When we take time to remember what it is we prepare to celebrate this Advent season, we really can proclaim this to be the Most Wonder Filled Time of the Year. For the wonder of Christmas is about the Divine breaking in to our world. It happened in glory in a time long, long ago, and it happens again this year in our hearts and in our world.

Let’s explore the wonders of the season together!