January 3, 2016
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Today’s reading from the gospel of Matthew is the reading for Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, which is actually on January 6. We don’t always observe Epiphany in this church, but I like to lift it up for several reasons.
The first reason is to remind us that Christmas is not one day, but a season, twelve days which begin on December 24 and end on January 6.
The Western tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ for only one day
with gifts and trees and overeating is a relatively modern innovation.
It seems sad to me, that so often we have this huge buildup
that begins around Halloween and then abruptly ends on December 25th.
Christmas is not over yet!
The second reason I like this celebration is that it invites us to consider the big arc of geography, history, faith, science and theology all in one observance. These “wise men” we hear about are actually Zoroastrian astronomers – scientist…