Is it possible that God might be somewhat disappointed about some of our church worship in January? We spend so much of December preparing for and celebrating the Christmas story. We claim it is a really big deal: Love came down at Christmas, the Word becomes flesh, Peace on earth and goodwill to all people. And the rest!
Yet, in January, in many of our churches we hear no more. The story goes dead! Preachers launch their sermon themes for the New Year without so much as a backward glance. Churches get on with their own agendas. It seems anticlimactic. Of course, some in the world church celebrate Epiphany right through January. I was reminded of this vividly last Sunday, when we concluded the service with prayers around the nativity scene, remembering that the incarnation of Jesus Christ is foundational to the good news that God so loved the world.
Epiphany deserves more time, don't you think? Its stretch through January deliberately paces us to slow down in order to celebrate the revelation of Christ as Saviour of the world as the Magi visit and God's mission to the world with his church is anticipated. Too often the wonder of the incarnation seems lost in the busyness of New Year activity. As I prepare for next Sunday's worship at Oundle I shall try to ensure that the glory of the incarnation at least makes an appearance!