Merry, merry my dear friends! I hope your Christmastide is off to a lovely start. I'm so grateful to have twelve days to spread out the Christmas goodness. Jim's family was here over the last four days, which was so celebratory and wonderful! And now I'm looking forward to slowing down a notch and savoring these later days of Christmas with my boys in a quieter way.
Tonight we shared a toast to St. John the evangelist* with cups of hot cider after reading Malcome Guite's sonnet John from Sounding the Seasons and Jonah read the beginning of John's gospel for us. Through advent and Christmas we've been focusing on the Godly Play idea that the mystery of Christmas is that "the king who was coming is still coming" (Godly Play: Volume 3, pg 30). So after reading John 1 we expanded that idea to say "the king who was coming is still coming, and also has always been." Tying the doctrines of incarnation, redemption and creation together is so very important theologically and I was grateful to bring this element into to the day.
Tonight each boy's bedtime prayers incorporated a petition that the boys might love like St. John and know that they are loved. Celebrating St. John today was neither laborious or fancy, but very simple and meaningful. There are many times I overshoot or don't manage to mark time at all. I'm really learning to love these less-fuss markings of time as the best sort.
*Typically St. John's day is on the 27th, but when there is a Sunday in the first three days of Christmas the feasts (St. Steven on the 26th, St. John on the 27th, and Holy innocents on the 28th) feast days can be pushed back to allow the Christmas Sunday to stand on its own.