Rev. Estelle Margarones
The signs that it's over are all around us. Decorations are coming down. Living rooms are once again 'just so'. Specialty items are now in the 'clearance' bins at Hannaford. Savvy marketers are already have aisles featuring Valentine candy. But this year, I'm not ready to say Christmas is over. I'm not ready to put away the angels I have out. I'm not ready to throw away the cards I received. I'm not ready to turn the calendar page and say, 'on to the next thing!”
It seems to me that we need Christmas more than ever—right now. We need to reignite those Advent candles that stand for hope, peace, joy, and love and keep them burning in our hearts all year. As much as I would like Jesus, our Savior, to come save this world; I am aware that he already did what he came to do. Jesus' work was to put us in right relationship with God and each other. It's up to us to see that his work continues.
Yesterday was the 12th Day of Christmas. To me, it seems that the very point of Christianity is to never let Christmas end, or at least to hold on to that hope until the hope of Easter is revealed. I invite you to examine your life and see how you're doing in that regard.
Will you work with me, from the model of the nativity narrative?
There was no room for Jesus, but He had important work to do and arrived anyway. What's your 'mission' work to do? How can you get it borne into the consciousness even if others aren't interested?
Jesus the infant had to be fed and held. Through the lens of your Christianity, do you see something that is precious and fragile and needing your attention?
The Wise Men were warned not to return to Herod, so they went home by another way. When you're being told to accept or do something that doesn't feel right, who's orders will you follow?
You're likely familiar with the following piece from Howard Thurman. “When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the heart.”
Here's another essential consideration from Thurman, “Christmas is waiting to be born: In you, in me, in all mankind. Jesus rejected hatred because he saw that hatred meant death to the mind, death to the spirit, and death to community with his Father. He affirmed life; and hatred was the great denial.”
This Sunday, our vestments will be green as we head again into "Ordinary Time". Ordinary Time will take us to Lent. Essentially, we'll be squeezing the 33 years of Christ's life into the next 4 months when we get to Easter.
What could Ordinary Time look like if it were seen through the eyes of Christmas joy? It's not for me to say, but I'd like to think it would look heavenly!
Together, we can bring Christ's word and work to the world.