Christmas day has come and gone but the 12 days of Christmas are still very much with us. This extended season is a great season for people of Christian faith to really focus in on the meaning of the season. I have talked about this in previous years and you might like to check out some of these posts:
Today, however as the scriptures of the day from the Book of Common prayer celebrate the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, I am reminded of the incredible risk of following Jesus with our whole hearts. And in a couple of days we will celebrate the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem, which we already reflected on following the massacre in Newtown.
Perhaps part of the reason we love to sit back with a sigh of relief after Christmas day is because we don’t really want to face the consequences of a committed faith. We want following Jesus to be all about love and peace and personal happiness. None of this persecution and martyrdom stuff. None of this “turn from your selfish ways and take up your cross” stuff. None of this “love others as you love yourself” stuff.
Part of what has been birthed in me this Christmas time is a new desire to let go of the confining trappings of adult life with its pressures to conform, to consume and to fit in, where there is no time for awe and wonder. Instead I want to try to grab hold of the childlike expression of faith that finds delight in every little thing around me. As I move through Christmas 2012, I want to slow down and take time to glory in God’s resurrection created world which came into being through the life of the One whose birth we celebrate at this season.