We have reached the point in Christmas where energy is running pretty low.

We’ve had enough parties.  We’ve even celebrated the ringing in of a new calendar year, which for most people really marks the end of the celebration (recovering from it all over football and parades as the new year begins).  The church, however, celebrates that day as Holy Name Day.  (Jesus would, by custom, have received his name on his seventh day of life.)  Ok.  I have to admit I watched football.

But we’ve had a series of days meant to remind us of what it means to be alive and be human.  Martyrdom on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26).  Friendship and love on St. John’s Day (December 27).  The slaughter of the innocents (not mentioned in any non biblical source) by Herod, protecting his power (December 28).  In some circles December 29 is Holy Family Day (all about the meaning of family).  I guess the point is that Jesus’ incarnation (his birth as a real person) is all about living a real life in the real world.

Maybe Christmas is not so much about the celebration.  Maybe Christmas is really about carrying God’s presence with us in our lives, our ordinary, everyday lives.  And maybe as “the” celebration wears off (and the first rush of joy for our new Christmas toys begins to fade), maybe now we can begin to celebrate the fact that God is still here with us now — and always will be.  Our God has been reaching out and inviting us from the beginning.  Jesus, I believe, is God’s ultimate invitation and welcome to us.  An invitation and welcome, a reaching out that continues all the days of our lives.  Days like today.

Merry Christmas.

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