• Richard Butler

Leaving the lights on

Churches observe a liturgical year, of course, and as Christmas season moves into, Epiphany and on through Candlemas to Lent, it’s always seemed necessary, if we are going to immerse ourselves properly in the current season, that we should leave the earlier ones behind.


But this year many of us are leaving up lights and decorations long after Christmas Day. Indeed, there’s a long tradition of continuing to mark the birth of Jesus until Candlemas, 40 days after Christmas Day. And this year many of us seem to feel the need to keep the joy of Christmas simmering for longer, both to keep our own spirits up and for the sake of others.


This seems to be a caring thing to do: caring for others and for ourselves. But it also reminds us that, despite the inspired rhythm of the church seasons, there isn’t really a compartmentalisation in our lives in Christ.


We live with a consciousness of God’s gift of himself to humankind throughout the year, just as we live with humankind’s rejection of that gift on Good Friday and the defeat of death of Easter Day – not just on those days but always.


So our star is still up in our front window and, who knows how long we’ll want it to continue.

God of time

Ruler of the past, the present and the future

Help us to hold all parts of the story of your love for humankind in our minds and in our hearts

Keep us caring and keep us grateful

Caring for others and for ourselves

Grateful for the blessings which you have bestowed on us

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

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