Somewhat near the beginning of Christian tradition, a date was set for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, a time in the Northern Hemisphere when the light begins to grow stronger and darkness grows less. It was a beginning, not the end.
Today Christmas is more like the climax of a novel- or a romance. Enormous buildup to the day, and then after, …well, not much.
It wasn’t always like that. Advent was intended to be a time of prayer and reflection, and Christmas was just the first of the Twelve Days of the Christmas Season which ended with the Epiphany on January 6th. It’s still formally like that in the mainline Christian churches, but consumerism and short attention spans make that an exception to the practice.
It’s a little weird, but it makes me wonder if human beings are better at working toward a climax than starting a movement. But maybe we don’t have to be.
I wonder if that’s what Jesus was trying to tell us.