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The Second Sunday after Christmass, 5 January 2014

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The Second Sunday after Christmass, 5 January 2014 Jeremiah 31:7-14 Psalm 84, or 84:1-8 Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a St. Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 Or St. Luke 2:41-52 Or St. Matthew 2:1-12

Background:Sundays after Christmass
The Sundays after Christmass seem to be unsure as to what they might need to be.Last Sunday’s Gospel is a repeat (or rather an expansion) of the Gospel for the Third Christmass Liturgy.I was somewhat envious while watching a Roman Catholic Mass for that Sunday which honors the Holy Family.Rather than floundering about with “low” Sundays following Christmass, it takes up the theme of the context of Jesus’ birth and the Church’s life.One series of readings that is more and more ignored is The Holy Name (1 January) and its powerful readings.The “Christmas” fatigue of our culture at this point seems not to allow us the celebration of these days, which is a sad fact. The Gospel for the Holy Family is one of the options open to us this morning.In fact, there are three options.The First, …

The First Sunday after Christmass, 29 December 2013

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The First Sunday after Christmass, 29 December 2013 Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3 Psalm 147 Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 St. John 1:1-18

Background:St. Stephen, St. John, and The Holy Innocents. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, there is a rule of precedence that does not allow the use of the propers for the three days noted above should they follow on a Sunday.The on-line lectionary gives a caution: This Sunday takes precedence over the three Holy Days, which follow Christmas Day. As necessary, the observance of one, two, or all three of them is postponed one day.Readers and those preaching on this day may want to take some time to devote themselves to these three days and the instructive nature they afford the celebration of Christmass.It might be a good thing, having immersed ourselves in our cultures celebration of the holidays, to devote ourselves to the cost of what Christmass really is - to see what it means to follow Jesus.
First, 26 December is Stephen, protomartyr and deacon, martyred becaus…