|God's Hand - Carl Milles|
Isaiah 63:7-9 Common English Bible (CEB)
I realize the consumer world has moved on from Christmas. The sales are over and the Valentine’s Day merchandise has already replaced Christmas. Since Christmas seems to begin earlier every year, by the time we get to Christmas Day we may have moved on as well. It’s sort of anti-climactic, which may be why people want to dispense with Advent and start singing Christmas carols as soon as Thanksgiving is over (normally the first Sunday of Advent). Once Christmas Eve has come, all the candles on the wreath have been lit, the worship committee will want to get busy undecorating the church (especially if the committee members have the week after Christmas Day off). Liturgically, however, Christmas isn’t over. Indeed, the magi have yet to come, in spite of our nativity displays (that would be Epiphany). Between Christmas Day and Epiphany comes the First Sunday after Christmas.
With this reminder of our journey and God’s presence with us as we take the journey, we can begin to comprehend the nature of God’s compassion. With Christmas as the context for the reflection, we can begin to comprehend the incarnation. In Jesus, we see revealed the true nature of God’s love, as it’s expressed to all, including the perceived enemies—including Herod, whom Matthew suggests sought to destroy.