The Two Weeks of Christmas

December 26th, 2011 Posted in writing

If you say, “Merry Christmas!” to someone after December 25, you’ll probably get a puzzled look, for in our society, once the 25th has come and gone, Christmas is over. But for centuries, Christmas Day was really the beginning of a two-week period of celebration that went on until January 6 — two weeks when the events and meaning of Christmas could sink in and be celebrated.

What if this year we tried spending two weeks soaking in the reality and meaning of Christmas? What might we think about? If we cared to, we might spend two weeks thinking about all the changes that happened with the coming of Christ: a virgin became a mother, angels spoke to ordinary people, a dark winter sky suddenly filled with light and the sound of singing, practical-minded shepherds testified to amazing things they’d heard and seen, learned men set out from distant lands to follow a star, and, sadly, a small-minded tyrant became jealous and afraid of a little baby. And how has the coming of Christ changed us? Are we different because he was born?

No, Christmas isn’t over. It’s just begun. And we don’t need to pay attention to our overly busy culture’s telling us that it’s time to move on after a day. Christmas has too much for us to think and pray about for it to be over in 24 hours. Let’s take our time with it so that it can take its time with us.

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