Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas is Over!

Well, it’s done for another year – the commercial side of Christmas anyway.

Now we enter the Octave of Christmas on the religious and spiritual side of things. A chance to savor the coming of God during the period leading up to Epiphany, the day that marks both the baptism of Jesus and serves as a remembrance of His being revealed to the world through the testimony of God Himself. And so, for those attuned to the rhythms of the church year, we moved through Advent as we awaited His coming into the world, and through the Christmas season wherein we celebrate His accomplished in-breaking, to Epiphany when we celebrate His revealing to the world through His ministry, and then into Lent, anticipating His death as well as ours, and so into Easter, another and perhaps His most powerful revealing in power as Savior of the world, and as our hope of living with Him forever.

And so we travel seasons with our focus repeatedly on Jesus, His coming to save us, and His acceptance of us to participate in His life forever. Later, we will enter the Pentecost season, the coming of God in the power of the Spirit, empowering disciples to live and to die in the power of God in ministry to the world.

And so the rhythm of the church year goes, making a complete cycle of God blessing the world, inviting us to live and die with Him as we live and move in accordance with His will for the world. Finally, at least in the US, we end up back at Thanksgiving. A time it seems when we can once again thank God for His multitude blessings, the chiefest of which is Jesus Himself, and the opportunity He gives us to be His hands, His mouth, His feet as we allow Him to direct our ways in blessing the world out of the blessings He has given us.

I trust that as each of us moves through these seasons, God will give us the grace of reminding us of who we are called to be, of what we are called to do, and of our calling to empty ourselves for the world just as our God has done. May you each rest peacefully in the knowledge that what He has promised, He will complete; that as we live for Him, we willingly give up ourselves for our friends, our family, and those we do not know; that we do this in the assured hope that we live in and with the God, the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sustainer of the world.

Merry Christmas!

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