The New Normal

Since Christmas Day has just passed, I have an obligation to remind you of what you already know: "Christmas is not just one day of the year!  It is a whole season.  There are twelve wonderful days of Christmas!"  It's my job as a preacher to say that; but, now, here's a confession.  I don't care how many times I countdown that holiday song...the one with the drummers drumming and the ladies dancing and the swans a-swimming...all the way down to today, "on the second day of Christmas," with its duet of doves...though I know it is still a feels like Christmas already is over.     For good or bad, you may have already sent the shepherds back to the attic, back to their Styrofoam fields to keep watch over their china crèche flock by night.  You may be ready to move on because it feels like Christmas should be over.  This is uncomfortable for a pastoral liturgist to admit. But confession is supposed to be good for the soul.  Also, it may may be...a doorway into the Gospel lesson.  Because I suppose, I suspect, that the Holy Family was ready for life to "get back to normal" as well.  You know the story's preface.  There's an awkward pregnancy along with a "pre-due date" relocation because of taxation.  Then a birth to this blended family, followed by a hosting of a holiday party, including Luke's shepherds and Matthew's Wise Men.