Well, it’s all over. All the glitter and sparkle is gone. Yes, the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing is over! I have to confess that from September until December, I get swept up in all the drama and spectacle of this television show. Programmes like this show us how so much of our life is shaped by a big build-up to Christmas. By the time that January comes round, we can feel deflated and exhausted. Christmas decorations are taken down and we reluctantly get back to our old routines. Perhaps the Church’s season of Epiphany can help us all get through these “January blues”.
Epiphany starts with the Adoration of the Magi, the wise men paying homage to the infant Jesus. When I lived in southern France, the “Feast of the Kings” as they called it was marked with a spectacular procession of kings from the cathedral around the town. They also had a tradition of preparing special cakes containing a hidden token, which once found, established the finder as “king” or “queen” for the day. I must admit that I preferred my “French Christmas”. There was much less pre-Christmas hype in the shops and on television and much more of a focus on a time of celebration throughout the “12 days of Christmas”.
Epiphany offers us a 40-day period between Christmas and Candlemas to reflect on the incarnation, to really take the impact of Christmas in. During this season we follow Jesus’ life through to the beginning of his public ministry. It gives us a chance to celebrate the Jesus who embraces our humanity from his birth, the Jesus who has walked where we walk.
Whilst the glitter and sparkle may be gone, the season of Epiphany reminds us that our preparations for Christmas do not end with Christmas. In making room for the Christ-child in our lives, we are prepared for a way of life that carries us beyond Christmas.
Please do join us for one of our Epiphany services this New Year, both on Sunday 4th January. At 10.30am at St Mary’s we will have an All Age Holy Communion Service. All are welcome, and please do bring along a “king” or “wise man” from your crib set or feel free to come dressed as a king or wise man! If you would prefer something more reflective, then why not join us at 6pm at St Andrew’s for a service of readings, prayers and hymns.
I wish you all a happy and blessed New Year!