04 December 2014

Bloody Christmas

While listing off to a friend what we do during the conventional "Christmas season" (Thanksgiving to December 25), I tried to express how we also observe the 12 days of Christmas.  And then I realized how bloody Christmas week is

Dec 26  St. Stephen's martyrdom
Dec 27  St. John (not bloody)
Dec 28  Holy Innocents' martyrdom
Jan 1     Circumcision and Name of Jesus

So I guess I go with "We continue to celebrate Christmas after Dec 25 by honoring those who first died for the sake of Christ, and Christ's first shedding of blood."

Awkward. (And, no, I didn't actually say that to my friend.)

But that's how the Church Year works, and why it works so well.  Unlike what our Reformed friends claim, a liturgical season does not neglect the theology of the other seasons.  If anything, the Church Year, and especially the lectionary, discipline the Church to continue to proclaim the whole counsel of God, year after year, season after season.  And I expect we will be doing the same in Eternity.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.

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