Monday, December 28, 2009

INTO THE SEASON OF CHRISTMAS


Are we still celebrating Christmas?  Are we continuing to revel in the afterglow of the Word become flesh?  As we put away Christmas decorations, and as the gifts we have received merge into our wardrobe or take their place in the household to become part of the fabric of living, let's keep the candle of Christmas glowing

A few years ago, I began to try to observe Christmas as the season that begins on Christmas Day and extends twelve days to Ephiphany on January 6.  I realized that Kulture Krismas that begins on Thanksgiving Day and ends on December 25, is a relatively recent fabrication for commercial purposes.  With it, we literally work ourselves into a frenzy and crash into Christmas.  I wonder, by January 31, will there be any evidence in our lives and communities that Christmas ever occurred?  Instead, Advent leads us--pointedly prepares us, gently guides us--to the brink of Christmas. Christmas Day, then, begins a season of joy and celebration.

Four days past Christmas Day, the realization of this journey to Epiphany begins to set in.  It is such a different rhythm than the usual post-holiday let down.  At the same time we are usually beginning to put away Christmas decorations, this way of living Christmastime keeps the gifts coming and the joy flowing.  If you put everything into the Big Day, you may find yourself letting down emotionally or spiritually this week as you get back to routine matters.  May this simple spiritual journey and the gifts it offers sustain and steady you as you walk into the heart of winter.

I have prepared daily reflections for Living the Twelve Days of Christmas.  If you're up for a change of pace or ready to explore a new practice of Christian faith formation, I invite you into this journey to Epiphany.

By the way, it's still okay to say "Merry Christmas!"



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