Dear friends in Christ,
Happy Christmas! I hope your Christmas is off to a wonderful start. Of course, today is the second day of Christmas. If you’re going along with the famous Twelve Days of Christmas song, you’ll be thinking of two turtledoves today. We still have ten more days of Christmas festivity ahead.
I love celebrating Christmas as the world has moved on. Perhaps Valentine’s Day items will be up for sale before we finish Christmas. And that’s just fine. You see, when we celebrate Christmas for the full twelve days, one of the gifts is that there’s no peer pressure. The Muzak and the mall aren’t forcing you into faux cheer. If you’re filled with Christmas cheer today, it’s because you want to be keeping the full feast.
Keep singing Christmas carols. Today, tomorrow, and right up through January 5th. It’s wonderfully countercultural. Spend time in these coming days in the silence—which is easier to find now than in the days leading up to Christmas—giving thanks for the great depth of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
As for me, I’m giving thanks for refreshment. I’m starting a three-month sabbatical next week. That’s a pretty great Christmas gift! I’ll be doing some travel, some reading, some praying, and maybe a bit of writing. Over the next three months, my colleagues at Forward Movement and some of our board members will be writing these weekly reflections. I hope you’ll enjoy the variety of voices and perspectives.
Today, I am filled with gratitude for Forward Movement, for our provision of sabbatical rest, and for the gift of the wonderful Episcopal Church I am privileged to serve. I am also grateful for Christmastide and carols for days on end. Mostly, I am grateful for Jesus our Emmanuel.
Pray for me over the next three months of sabbatical, and know that I am praying for you. We all have so much for which to give thanks to God.
Photo: Xavier Romero-Frias, from Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]
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