The Time of Christmas

Brueghel Murder Holy Innocents

It’s the shortest season in the church year, 12 days, from Christmas day until Epiphany. But within that short season there are some interesting minor commemorations.

Dec 26th – The Feast Day of St. Stephen, protomartyr or the first martyr. Luke gives him two chapters, Acts 6:8 – 8:3 and maybe a little of the psychology that lead to St. Paul.

Dec 28th – Holy Innocents, Martyrs The picture above is Bruegel’s depiction of the event. I always appreciated how Bruegel could bring biblical events to Flemish towns. In the midst of the landscapes that we know all too well, something profound takes place. There has always been for me a profound lesson in that. Here, these stories are timeless, because they tell us something about ourselves and the Truth. And now they are yours. You are their keepers and teachers and livers. Are you Stephen who inspires Paul, or are you Herod? How will you keep them?

Jan 1st – Circumcision and Name of Jesus

That is a lot of blood. The Christ child came, was incarnated, in flesh and blood. And blood in this world gets spilled and spent. The question to you on this Childermas, is how do you spill yours? As Martyrs and witnesses or to make full the sin? For most of us that is a metaphorical question. We won’t be martyrs. But who are our saints that the Augsburg Confession says, “we may imitate their faith and good works according to our calling.” How is your blood spent, or who is your blood?

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