For some friends and neighbors, Christmas may end at midnight on December 25 – but in the life of our church, the Season of Christmas has just begun! We celebrate the nativity until January 5, including Lessons and Carols this Sunday. Then we start the party all over again with the Feast of the Epiphany and our Boar’s Head Festival. Pretty fabulous, don’t you agree?
As the years go by, I’ve grown to appreciate the practical wisdom of this spiritual practice. Observing not just a day, but a season of celebration, reminds us that choosing joy is a vital part of life in Christ. This joy isn’t about a fleeting satisfaction with our circumstances, like getting that shiny new bike from my wish list. Instead, it flows from gratitude for gifts that don’t come with bows – like the promise that no matter what difficulties we face, Jesus will always be with us.
A season of celebration takes the pressure to be perfect off, too. Christmas Day dinner didn’t turn out as you hoped? No big deal, just try again next Tuesday. Didn’t find the right gift to give? Hey, you’ve got another chance on Twelfth Night!
And isn’t that a critical part of the Good News, too? That no matter how much things go awry, Christ sets them right again in God’s good time?
So whatever circumstances you’re facing this year, please join your church family in rejoicing. Christmas means God is both for us and with us, now and forever. That’s a gift worth celebrating for an entire season.
The Rev. Susan R. Beebe