Outsiders bearing gifts

Christmas in the United States is such a mammoth economic phenomenon that when it comes to a crashing end on December 25 it feels like a total cultural collapse.

Even though we should know better, churches too experience a post-Christmas letdown. Preachers know that the Sunday after Christmas is one of two “low Sundays” in the year, and they often take the day off. I did this for years, sometimes extending the day into a blessed two-Sunday holiday. So it is helpful to be reminded that for many of the world’s Christians, Epiphany is the main event—and that in liturgy, song, food, and gift-giving, Christians mark the arrival in Bethlehem of the Magi.


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