If you’re anything like me, you might have still found scraps of Christmas lying around when you were getting ready to help your children with a school Valentine’s Day celebration. It’s still cold in most parts of the country, and we might still feel a bit of a holiday hangover when we’re not quite sure what to do with ourselves in the days following the Feast of the Epiphany.
Every year my sermon for Ash Wednesday comes down to one thing: this business of smearing ashes on our faces? It’s for us, not for God.
The season of Lent is less than a week away. Now is the time to talk with your family about what you will be giving up and/or what disciplines you will be taking on.
On February 2, exactly 40 days after Christmas, we commemorate Mary’s adherence to the Mosaic law as she entered the Temple for the ritual purification, as explained in Leviticus 12:2-8. Also, forty days was the time when a firstborn was brought to the Temple to be dedicated to the Lord (Exodus 13:2-12).
Driving up the highway to return a few backup Christmas gifts, I began to meditate on the Christmas season, baby Jesus, and scripture I heard […]
“We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts, we travel so far. (sic)” The little voice sings from the back of the car. My son, strapped into his carseat, is singing one of his favorite songs.
As I stared at the crowds amassed around our holy family, it occurred to me that with our first child, other than the occasional comment on our parenting and her stranger glare reserved demeanor, we were pretty much left alone as parents to sink or float.
Today, eight days into the Christmas season, the Episcopal Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Name. We celebrate this feast day on January 1st each year because it’s the day when Jesus was named by his parents and circumcised.
Advent is my favorite season. The waiting, the candles, the music, the smells of cookies and gingerbread baking, the early darkness; I revel in all of it. As a child with infinite imagination, every year I embraced the anticipation of the Christ child with all my heart. And yes, Santa and gifts were fine with me too. But it is the expectation of wonder that thrills my heart. These days, as a parent, a Christian educator, and a reluctant adult, it’s all a little more complicated.
The Friday before the first weekend in Advent, I had only just arrived home when my nearly four year-old son asked if we could begin decorating right now! My wife and I agreed (after dinner). We said that, with our nine month-old beginning to sit up and crawl, we could decorate only at a height out of her reach. We’d set up our little Christmas tree: one that fits on a table top.