This Christmas was our largest ever at Trinity. About 230 people joined us for Christmas Eve services. Many of you worked hard to set up our space, prepare food, rehearse, welcome, and clean up. It was a team effort to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many of you did this on top of all the work you were doing in your homes to celebrate this Christmas. It takes a lot of work to celebrate! After all the work and merriment of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, many of us let out a sigh of relief and collapsed. And then life moves on. We go back to work. Family leaves.
This year I have heard many people lament the end of Christmas. There is a sadness that the Christmas morning we have been looking forward to and working towards is over. People start pulling down decorations. They stop playing Christmas carols. A friend of mine recently asked, “Is it too soon to start listening to Christmas music for 2019?”
To my friend and all those who think that Christmas is over, I have one piece of very good news: Merry Christmas…still! Christmas isn’t a day on the calendar; it is a series of 12 days that begin on December 25. I’ve been getting a lot of strange looks around town as I wish people Merry Christmas. I’ve even had some people correct me: “Don’t you mean ‘Happy New Year’?” As a culture, we like to hype up one big event. We don’t like to draw things out. But Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation of God, is meant to be enjoyed slowly, like a fine wine. The mystery of God becoming a human being (a baby no less!) is something that takes time to settle into our minds and souls.
So keep the Christmas tree up. Keep the carols playing. Re-read the Christmas story in Luke 1-2. Keep Christmas going until January 5. Then take down the tree and bring it to our next celebration, the Epiphany Bonfire on Saturday night.