Little Christmas

Because you cling to me,
I will deliver you…

From Psalm 91:16

When I was a child, my family referred to January 6 as Little Christmas. Though today we acknowledge this feast on the nearest Sunday, I still quietly celebrate The Epiphany whenever my calendar announces January 6. The Magi’s visit to the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph was a very big deal. Wise astrologers that they were, the Magi had followed signs in the night sky which pointed to the arrival of Israel’s new king. The Magi didn’t waste the opportunity to pay homage to this child who they believed was destined for greatness.

At the moment, I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy my family’s depiction of this encounter at the creche beneath our Christmas Tree. As I pick up the pine needles which have fallen on this peaceful scene, I realize just how reluctant I am to let go of the hope and promise of Christmas 2019. Though most of us have returned to our pre-holiday routines, I’m holding tightly to as many remnants of Christmas as possible.

As I consider this holiday season which has come and gone so quickly, I’ve determined that it’s actually a blessing that Christmas creeps into shops and malls a few months early. That Christmas extends to January 6 is another happy circumstance. These reminders are with us for good reason. When we keep Christmas in mind, the hope and promise which that tiny baby brought to this world remain as well in God’s presence. Just as Jesus embraced every day which he walked among us, God embraces the moment at hand in our company. God is with us to endure, to survive and to celebrate every moment, especially those moments which change our lives forever. Whether these changes come with sorrow or joy, we live through them with God. Perhaps I should consider every day to be Little Christmas!

Loving God, thank you for making every day a Little Christmas by remaining with us in everything.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Christmas Remains

They carried to him all those afflicted…
He cured them all.

From Matthew 4:24

When I was a child, my family referred to this day as Little Christmas. January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany and we celebrated the arrival of the Magi at the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Wise astrologers that they were, the Magi followed signs in the night sky which pointed to the arrival of Israel’s new king. The Magi didn’t waste the opportunity to pay homage to this child who was destined for greatness.

Today, our Christmas Tree remains intact because my extended family will visit tomorrow for another holiday gathering. As I check to see if the tree’s needles will last another day, I realize just how reluctant I am to let go of the hope, promise and good cheer of Christmas 2016. Though most of us have returned to our pre-holiday routines, I hold onto as many remnants of Christmas joy as possible. I celebrate Little Christmas with memories of my siblings and me moving the three Wise Men closer and closer to our crèche until January 6 when we orchestrate their arrival. Still, recent losses remind me that some will never return to their pre-holiday lives because life has changed forever for them. I realize that this life will never be the same for any of us after this day, this hour and even this very moment.

Perhaps it’s a blessing that Christmas creeps into our shops and malls a few months early. That Christmas extends to Little Christmas is another happy circumstance. These reminders of Christmas are with us for good reason. When we keep Christmas in mind, thoughts of the birthday we celebrate cannot be far behind. When we remember the hope and promise which that tiny baby brought to this world, we remember God’s presence. God is with us to endure, to survive and to celebrate every moment, even the ones which change our lives forever. Whether these changes come with sorrow or joy, we live them with God at our sides.

Loving God, thank you for being with us in everything.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved