“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:2
Many experience what has been described as post-Christmas depression. For such persons, once December 25th turns to December 26th it may feel like everything fun and exciting is gone, leaving behind disappointment, depression and debt.
While December 25 begins the end of Christmas at the mall, it’s not over so quickly in the Church. Christmas actually lasts 12 days, beginning with Christmas Eve and ending with Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Magi to Jesus. In some countries Epiphany is the gift-giving feast, while Christmas focuses on the gift of God in Christ — our best present. Not a bad idea for the North American Church, where for many Black Friday, not Advent, kicks off the holidays.
Perhaps a skiing metaphor will illustrate the importance of the liturgical calendar as it relates to Christmas: With the church calendar, Christmas is like riding the ski lift up one side of a mountain and enjoying the ride down the other side. Without the church calendar, Christmas can be like riding the ski lift up one side of the mountain and dropping off the other side.