On Monday, the 28th, I had a Zoom art time with my granddaughter who lives in California. I wished her a Merry Christmas.
Her response, “But Christmas is over.”
Clearly, we had a bit of a theology fail with my descendants. I let her know that actually, liturgically, Christmas Day is only the First Day of Christmas and the last will be on January 6, The Feast of the Epiphany, observing the arrival of the wise men.
If Advent this past year seems to be the longest Advent in our lifetimes, must we now experience the shortest Christmas in these darkened times? Many churches will observe Epiphany Sunday this coming Sunday instead of the 2nd Sunday of Christmas.
This is understandable at some level. As we continue to care about each other by staying put and gathering in small numbers, masked and distanced, it’s beyond difficult to hold fast to the liturgical rhythms of spiritual seasons.
This coming new calendar year will feel strangely no different than the months which have preceded it. We continue to reside in this “Between Time” — between life before the arrival of this virus and the hope for a vaccine to relieve us of our long isolation.
Even it these strange and disorienting times, God is with us. The divine has chosen to pitch a tent and live among us.
Amid all else, including disappointed hopes, dreams and plans, this may be time for a different kind of New Year’s resolution. Dare we resolve to hold fast to all that is good, loving, caring and the hope of lives continually turned to light and hope.
May these Between Times be fruitful.
If God has broken the clay pots of our lives, may we be reshaped as vessels for love and hope in a world in such need.
Blessings come in the strangest ways, in the strangest times.
Rev. Elaine Silverstrim is a retired Episcopal priest.
This weekly column is provided to the News Journal by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.