From the Vicar_December 2011 - January 2012
Posted by on Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Under: Vicar's Monthly Letters
As I drive round the parish in December, it seems that many people take down their Christmas decorations and throw out their trees around the turn of the year. It's as if people think Christmas is a happy party at the end of the year, a reward for getting through the year, but is not appropriate at the beginning of a new one. " Christmas, nice as it is, is unreal. Cold January is a time for serious work, so tidy up, get on with serious living, and close your curtains again." That seems to be how some people feel.
The church takes a different view. We take some time celebrating Christmas (the twelve days of Christmas), and that celebration carries on into the new year and ends with Epiphany on 6th January. That's the day we remember the Wise Men finding the child Jesus (the Bible calls Him a child, not a baby, at this stage). And, of course, the Wise Men were probably Gentiles, not Jews, so are our ancestors in a way.
All this surely reinforces the Bible's claim that God wants the joy and hope of Christmas to carry through into the new year. It's we who throw out the joy and hope with the Christmas tree; God wants it to last. And the journeying after truth that the Wise Men did is for us as well, searching for the truth, through the year.
A happy Christmas to you and best wishes to you all as you search after the truth. Let's be determined together to take the joyous hope of Emmanuel - God with us - into January and 2012.
Vicar's Monthly Letters
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