Don’t rush Christmas. It is really antithetical to the entire idea of a celebration of the long-awaited Advent of Jesus Christ. In fact, this is where secular celebrations of Christmas will become more and more distinct from the real thing.

My family visited a few stores recently noticing Christmas is already being shoved into a corner to make room for Valentine’s Day. Note that it is November 28th. Tomorrow is the first day of Advent in the church calendar kind of way, but for most they have not even put out the advent calendars until December 1. So, think about that. In a retail sort of way, Christmas is on its way out before it even begins.

And that is the contrast between the Christian celebration of Christmas and the secular. The Christian is not looking to push advent away, but to bring it in; to savor each week, each moment, because in those weeks and moments are new unvelings of the story that has made history have any sense of hope at all.

Remember that Christmas arrives in a most hopeless situation with the slaughter of children by Roman soldiers because one king wants to make sure his throne is secure. Getting to know the King they wanted to kill at that time is not something you just read, put down, and move on. This kind of story takes time, and it doesn’t take time in a way that you want it over with. This kind of story takes time in a way that you want to be sure you don’t miss something essential.

I mean if this story is what offered hope to all of the world in such a dark day, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the details of this story may offer hope to us today? Yes, friends, don’t rush it. Don’t celebrate Christmas in a retail sort of way. It seems we must pick up the things we need earlier now, but that doesn’t mean we need to push it in a corner before it begins. The kind of glory of Advent that we are intending to celebrate has ever increasing glory—glory that doesn’t stop December 25, but really then it just begins.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV)