Today's Scripture Reading
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Jesus Presented at the Temple
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
This message will be posted after Christmas Day, but because of the need to accommodate deadlines, holiday activities, and my own personal plans, I am actually writing this two weeks ago. (huh?) I just cannot put myself in the mood to write a "post-Christmas" devotion. I am still filled with joy, excitement, and anticipation of the season.
The Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion worship service, my favorite of the year, is a past event for you as you read this, but I'm still looking forward to it as I write. (Time is a funny thing, isn't it?) And then there are my own personal and family plans for the holiday. All in all, I just don't have that "post-Christmas" spirit yet.
The thought occurs to me: "Why should I apologize for that? Why should I be in such a hurry to put Christmas behind me? Do the members and friends of our DisciplesNet family really want to forget Christmas so quickly?" Of course we don't! We really want to hang on to that joy and spirit for many weeks to come. May we indeed do so.
Actually, the history and tradition of the church are on our side in this, even if the shopping malls are not. During Advent the commercial culture shouts at us to party, to sing Christmas carols in November and to buy, buy, buy. The Church tells us to solemnly repent and prepare for the coming of Christ, and to genuinely celebrate only after that disciplined preparation.
Likewise, the history and tradition of the church seem contrary to our modern way of doing things after Christmas. While most folks are ready to put away the decorations and “get back to normal” now, the church does not. Christmas in the liturgical calendar is not a day, but a season of twelve days on the liturgical calendar, ending on Epiphany, January 6th.
So. . . whether or not the decorations are still up at your house or not, our closing thought is the same as it was last week. Merry Christmas to you from DisciplesNet Church, and peace to all!
Today's devotion was shared by
Robert Shaw (Pastor Bob) is an associate pastor of DisciplesNet Church, an elder at Southport Christian Church, Indianapolis, and a Regional Elder for the Indiana Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).