What do we do we do now that Christmas is over? It really isn’t—today is only the Fifth Day of Christmas—but the world has ended its Christmas, and our lives so easily fall into the world’s cycles and trends. Maybe a better question is, what do we do now that December 25th has passed, that the tree’s days are numbered, the presents have been unwrapped and put away or returned, and the time of Advent preparation and anticipation is behind us? At least liturgically, Advent and its looking forward dominated our lives. What’s the point now that the anticipated event has come and gone?
Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” This is part of Elizabeth’s conversation with Mary just a few months before Christmas, as Mary visits her relative ahead of the birth of John the Baptist. What Elizabeth is saying is that God always keeps His promises. He has never let His people down. What He says, He does. He may not fulfill His promises immediately, but when the time is right, He does.
If you wanted a Sunday that captures all the Church Year, look no further than this Sunday after the Nativity of Our Lord. The Church, in her Propers for this day, has given us everything from Christmas to Holy Week, to Easter and the season after Trinity. Today gives us Crib, Cross, and Altar.