Epiphany and the end of the Christmas Season

from the January 6 Bethany Brief…

It’s all over, right? The hustle and bustle of the holidays and the endless lists are complete. We can all take a deep breath and exhale with relief. From facebook to the nightly news, the messages of liberation are clear. People are glad to be done with the holidays. It saddens me to hear people so thankful to be done with such a marvelous time of the year.

Yes, our families can make us crazy. We all have that one relative you hope won’t be able to come visit this year. The malls are mad with people rushing to find presents that, in the end, no one really needs. I’m glad to be done with that stuff.

What I will miss is the presence of God in the smallest ways during the holiday season. God is with us every moment of every day. However, in the Thanksgiving-Advent-Christmas-New Year time, it seems easier to see God’s face in one of another human being. Whether it’s a secular holiday (Thanksgiving and New Year) or our holy time of Advent and Christmas, people open up to the possibility of joy.

This Sunday, we will celebrate Epiphany, the official end of our Christmas season. As we do that, I hope that we continue to live in that holiday of spirit of being open to joy: the joy of giving, the joy of sharing, the joy of living with the knowledge that God loves us and lives with us in the presence of Jesus.

-Kelli

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