Here’s the thing Western Christians, you’re doing Christmas wrong. For us the new year begins on the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The Christmas season doesn’t begin until December 24th. From Christmas Eve until Epiphany we celebrate Christmastide, also known as the 12 days of Christmas. After the 12 days comes the Feast of Epiphany. Since the Magi didn’t visit Jesus until years after his birth, we don’t talk about the Wise Men until Epiphany arrives, directly after the Christmas Season. This leads us into ordinary time, which closes the Season of Christmas. Next comes the 6 week season of Lent, the seven week Season of Easter, Pentecost, and then ordinary time again until Advent rolls around again. Thanksgiving isn’t a liturgical holiday so it isn’t included unless you’re in the U.S., but isn’t in the Bible and is not sanctioned by the church. That doesn’t mean you can’t worship God by giving thanks, it’s jus not part of the liturgical year.
This week on Voices In My Head we welcome a fantastic singer, songwriter, and artist: Eric Peters. We can’t recommend Eric’s music enough here at the Voices In My Head Podcast. His music is challenging, honest, and courageous and aside from that, he is a really great guy. Here’s some of the buzz about Eric and his music.
“Peters is a standout among the overcrowded scene of singer/songwriter folk-pop.” - RELEVANT Magazine
“It’s clear that Eric Peters has a love for literature and an ear for a great pop hook. Peters has the skills of a seasoned artist.” – Christianity Today
Voices In My Head is a Podcast dedicated to covering things like comics, movies, books, music and various other things that get stuck in the head of pop culture, but with a Theological lens. Listen to it on Podbean.com, Stitcher, The Rick Lee James Mobile App, iTunes, Reverbnation.com, and Facebook. Rick Lee James Official Web Site is www.RickLeeJames.com. To leave a voice message comment for Voices In My Head call (937) 505-0162. Get Rick’s music on iTunes and at CDBaby.com. Email can be sent to RLJames29@yahoo.com. You can also watch Rick Lee James music videos on YouTube.
Please leave a review on iTunes and let us know what you thought of today’s episode.
Like us at Voices In My Head (The Rick Lee James Podcast) Facebook page to join the online community and answer the question of the week.
You can also answer the question of the week at www.RickLeeJames.com
I have to thank my friends at Xenia Church of the Nazarene for using 2 of my songs in their worship services for the first Sunday of Advent 2012 (Advent Hymn and I Lift Up My Eyes). As a songwriter there are few thrills greater than to have someone else record, perform, or in this case lead worship using your music. Bear in mind, this is a rough mix from their Sunday morning service but in my opinion it still sounds pretty great.
Brannon Hancock is their music pastor and as you can tell from the audio, he is incredibly talented and a Spirit led song leader. Gloria, his lovely and talented wife, is the other vocalist on Advent Hymn. This might be my favorite Christmas gift this year. My thanks to everyone at Xenia Nazarene Church for including my songs in your Advent celebration. Make sure to check out their web site at the link below and if you live near Xenia, stop in and worship with them. They will welcome you with open arms, coffee, donuts, and best of all – the Love of God.
LISTEN HERE: “I Lift Up My Eyes”
LISTEN HERE: “Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing)”