The Rev. Rob Courtney
Fr. Rob is the Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church & School
Last week, Mtr. Liz talked about the realities of the Christmas season bringing stress, and how difficult it can be to get quiet and reflect on "the reason for the season," as they say. She made some suggestions for holding quiet space as we wait for Jesus' arrival. If you have trouble being able to make that space for yourself in this next week, it's understandable and okay. All is not lost. Perhaps there's a chance afterward.
The good news is that Christmas is more than just Dec. 25. Christmas is not just a one-day observance. I know most people are ready to tear down the tree on Dec. 26, but you do not have to do that. Christmas is a season, and it lasts 12 days. It's not the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day, the 12 Days of Christmas last from Christmas Day through January 5. While the world is moving on, the Church is still in the midst of celebration and contemplation around the incarnation of Jesus. January 6 is the feast of the Epiphany, and it's not until then that the magi even arrive at the manger! Come Dec. 26, we're just getting started!
For many of us, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is a lot quieter. It can be a great time to focus on some of those things that perhaps you wish you could have leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to invite you, then, to give yourself a Christmas gift. Give yourself the gift of deepening your faith and your relationship with Jesus by setting aside some intentional time each day of the 12 days. To help you, I'm going to send a short devotional email each day of the Christmas season to everyone who signs up to receive it. Just sign up here and you'll receive your first email on Christmas Day. We're calling it "The Gifts of Christmas: A Devotional for the 12 Days of the Season." We'll reflect together over those 12 days on some of the most important aspects of our tradition, and ask God to deepen our faith and understanding.
The next week is liable to be a busy one for us all. Take a deep breath. Remember that what we're leading up to is supposed to be good news! Most of all, remember to keep the faith, St. Paul's.
P.S. - Maybe you know someone that you think may also enjoy getting these devotional emails. If so, forward them them this blog post, or send them to christmasinlakeview.org where they can see our Christmas service times and sign up for the the devotions. Look at you! Sharing the good news!