In many respects, Christmas is just a memory, now. Variations of “How was your holiday?” are disappearing from our conversation, depleted shelves of Christmas goods (at dramatically-reduced prices) are giving way to shelves stuffed with Valentine’s Day goods, and the ‘fridge has been cleared - one way or another - of the last ripening remnants of Christmas dinner leftovers.
Considering that we’re only now, finally regaining our breath and our our sanity from Hectic Holiday Hustle 2009, is this any time to talk of lingering over Christmas?
Well … yes, actually. It just might be, as was suggested this past Sunday at church, and will again be suggested tonight - ‘church night’ here, in this part of the country - during a special Epiphany Celebration Dinner, an evening of food and fellowship, prayer and praise … and gifts!
Some will suggest that tonight’s gathering is something of a stretch for us … westerners, Protestants - Presbyterians, no less. But, deciding not to turn-off the spirit of the season like a string of lights at 12:00:01 December 26, we instead chose this year to linger over Christmas, joining with other western Christians in celebrating the revelation of God-made-Man in the visitation of the Biblical Magi - the original Wiseguys - to the Baby Jesus.
Relying solely upon the Bible, there’s not much we actually know about the Wiseguys. Less than twenty lines in the Book of Matthew - a few facts, and the basis for some strong assumptions, and that’s it. Really, most of what we ‘know’ about them comes from various traditions over the last 1,500 years, and a 19th-century Christmas carol.
But we do know that, whoever they were and from wherever they came, they came bearing gifts. And that is a tradition we will honor tonight, with gifts for babies and toddlers - cans of formula, jars of baby food, boxes of cerial, diapers and wipes - which will be distributed to our church’s mission partners who serve young children.
I'm looking forward to a wonderful evening. I also expect to come away with the thought that I might find ways to continue lingering over Christmas, and hanging with the Wiseguys, throughout the year ahead.
Won't you join us? It's tonight - Wednesday, January 6 - at 5:30 in Lynn Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Chuch-Midland, on the northwest corner of the intersection of A and Texas streets, on the west edge of downtown Midland Everyone eats free!