January 9, 2008
By the calender -a reflection
Well, Monday all (most) of the Christmas decorations were packed away for the year. There's still a few bits and pieces from my mantle and bookcase that have hung around a little longer. However, it wasn't laziness or poor planning that kept the tree around this long. Last Sunday happened to be Epiphany or the day on which the Magi are celebrated as arriving in Bethlehem and is the day that closes the Christmas season in the church calendar. Not having grown up with the Church calender (most Baptist/Bible churches I know don't much follow it's lesser celebrations) it's still pretty new to us, and we weren't quite sure how to go about celebrating this punctuation to Christmas. So....we didn't. But we did keep our tree and lights up through Epiphany and remove them promptly afterwards. Minor point though that may be, I'd like our home to start moving more in rhythm with the Church calendar. Advent, Christmas, Lent, etc aren't just occasions for changes in the church service but actually provide an organizational structure for our lives. Not having grown up with it I can't really say I understand how this looks. Obviously people often fast during Lent, but that doesn't tell me much about what to do Epiphany or Ascension Sunday. All you moms can laugh at me if you like, but I also get the impression that this is harder to do as a married couple than as parents. Parents, it seems, naturally find themselves explaining and illustrating the seasons to their children (often with appropriate construction paper activities). The act of teaching appears to shape the holidays more than anything else. A couple like us? Besides cooking some more food I'm not entirely sure what to do. Maybe for now that would have been enough. I don't really know. However, as there are several more feast days coming up before the ordinary year starts again I believe I will have the chance to practice.