On Sunday, January 10 at 10 a.m. All Saints hold our annual pageant, when we'll celebrate Epiphany. This is a special day when our parish and Parish School children take the lead in telling us the Good News of the Nativity story. The children have been preparing for this important leadership role for many weeks now, and they are eager to tell you through story and song of the revelation of God's love for the world through the birth of Christ.
You may wonder why we are holding the pageant on Epiphany rather than in early December, as in years past. As you may know, the season of Christmas lasts 12 days in the church and concludes with the visit of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. Their arrival symbolizes the revelation of God's love to all people. The arrival of the Wise Men at the manger concludes the Christmas story, and allows us to celebrate the fullness of the Nativity together.
Moving the pageant to Epiphany also allowed us to wait with eagerness for the arrival of Christmas, much the way new parents wait for their child's birth. Advent, the season preceding Christmas, is marked by eager anticipation and preparation for the birth of Christ in our world, and in our hearts and lives. In previous years, our Christmas pageant took place during the season of Advent, which is kind of like planning a premature C-section. The culture around us clutters our lives with Christmas preparations as early as Thanksgiving (if not the day after Halloween). In this rush toward Christmas, we lose so much of the true meaning of Christmas revealed in God's self-giving love to us, and the preparations needed for us to welcome God-with-us are crowded out.
My hope in moving our annual pageant to Epiphany is to have given us all the gift of Advent by taking one thing off the to-do list so that we could slow down, and focus our hearts and minds of the deeper meaning of Christmas. To that end, we introduced a new tradition, St. Nicholas Day, where our children were invited to learn about the life of St. Nicholas and his generous giving to people in need. St. Nicholas's witness leads us all to follow God's self-giving love made known to us in the incarnation, so that by Christmas we may have prepared a place within ourselves for God's love to take root.
Now, on Epiphany, our children will have an opportunity to lead worship during our Epiphany Pageant, as we hear God's love story one more time.
I hope to see you there!
God's peace be with you all,