Our Church’s sense of Christmas is much different than our culture. In our culture advertisement for Christmas shopping begins at least the week before Thanksgiving, encouraging us to shop on “Black Friday”. This year the shopping even began Thanksgiving Day. Christmas music is heard on the radio throughout this time. Once Christmas day is over, the Christmas music stops. Now, after-Christmas shopping is encouraged.
In our Church Advent prepares us to celebrate Christmas. The emphasis is on the fact that our God took flesh. He came among us to show us the way to the Father. Christmas is a season that begins Christmas Day and goes to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 13th this year). This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Below is an article on Epiphany that was in the International Catholic Stewardship Council newsletter.
Epiphany! What a wonderful word. Even its secular definition is thrilling: “a sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something.” It brings all sorts of images to mind: a light bulb suddenly turning on, shedding brilliant illumination; a revelation that brings a gasp; an idea so vivid we pause and give thanks; a truth so powerful we fall to our knees.
The feast of the Epiphany is all of those things and more. We celebrate the mysterious appearance at Jesus’ birthplace of three men from the East. They had set off on a most quixotic journey, seeking what they would find at the end of a star’s dazzling rays. What, we wonder, did they make of the epiphany with which their journey ended? Did they spend the rest of their lives trying to discern what their discovery of the baby meant, or did the Christ Child gift them with “a sudden realization” of His nature?
What more could they – or we – want of a life’s journey, than to find, in our epiphany, the Christ waiting for us?
The twelve days of Christmas have led us to this place, where Gentiles from afar have discovered Christ, thereby revealing that He came for everyone, for each one of us throughout history, and not just for the Jewish people to whom he was born. The feast of Epiphany brings us to the last week of our liturgical celebration of Christmas.
But for the Christian steward, Epiphany is not an end but a beginning. This feast reminds us that the New Year beckons us to openness about the epiphanies to which God leads us if we but keep an open, prayerful heart, a heart full of deep, awed gratitude.
Let us pray never to become too jaded, too full of certainty, too wrapped up in the routine of life to be asleep at the time of epiphany. If we could resolve to keep only one New Year’s Resolution, let it be this: to pay attention to the epiphanies God places before us.
Try to cherish the Christmas season we are in and pay attention to the epiphanies God places before you.
Ever since our church was built we have had problems with the windows in the atrium area (by the A/B meeting room) leaking. We have a company who is finally willing to take on this project. They may be beginning this work as soon as this week. During this time the hallway going from the church to the gym will be blocked off. Because the Finance Committee had the wisdom to set up a reserve fund for projects such as this the cost will not affect our parish budget.