Christmas is Over . . . Or Is It?


I read the following at Christine Sine’s Godspace blog and thought it was worth sharing with those of you who follow and read my postings.

Christmas is OverChristmas is Over

Now that Christmas Day is over many of us feel let down because the day we have been anticipating for so long is over. The malls strip their elaborate decorations and junk their remaining Christmas stocks with huge 50-70% off sales. The Christmas wreaths and trees are thrown out for the garbage collectors and our frenzied activities give way to a low grade depression. But Christmas isn’t really over. In the sixth century it was decided that celebrating Christmas just for a day didn’t provide time to celebrate all the joy that Christ’s birth brought into the world. They made Christmas into a twelve day festival that ended with a feast on the Eve of Epiphany on January 5th to celebrate the coming of the wise men. Yep that’s right the 12 days of Christmas begin with Christmas Day they don’t end there as many malls would have us believe. In countries where this understanding of Christmas has not been co-opted by the commercialism of our society Christmas trees are not decorated until Christmas Eve and remain in the house sparking with light and life until the Eve of Epiphany.

This is the season when we are meant to celebrate with joy and gratitude the wonder of a God whose love is so great that he sent his son to dwell amongst us. How incredible! How wonderful! Lets take advantage of every day of the Christmas season

Now is a great time to reflect on how we want to follow Christ throughout the year.  For me the more relaxed season after Christmas Day is a great time to think about my observances throughout the year. Tom & I will be going on retreat for a couple of days at the end of the week. For those of you who want to continue following the liturgical calendar here are some suggestions for scripture readings for this season and throughout the year.

The Daily Office From the Book of Common Prayer

textweek.com. has excellent liturgical resources for the entire year

Presbyterian USA daily readings

The Daily Office from the Episcopal Church US

Northumbria Community Daily Offices

Daily Prayer with the Irish Jesuits

Daily Prayer from the Catholic Church in Australia

A collection of reflections from early church fathers and others for Christmas and Epiphany season

Bosco Peters in New Zealand has excellent liturgical resources available. Tom and I are particularly enjoying the lectionary readings that he has put together for this year.

Reflections from Forward Day by Day

Dave Perry uses his spectacular photography to reflect on the lectionary

For those that may want to develop a plan for the entire year:

The Voice: The entire liturgical calendar of readings

Christianity: A Plan for Reading the Entire Bible in a Year

Upper Room Ministries provides beautiful and often very moving daily devotional prayers and meditations

 

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