While shopping early today (yes, shopping on a Sunday) there were Easter eggs on sale alongside the Christmas leftovers in the Asda clearout.\r\n\r\nIt’s January 6th\r\n\r\n- the twelfth day of Christmas\r\n- the day Anglicans celebrate Epiphany\r\n- and there are Easter eggs on sale.\r\n\r\nIn fact, before Christmas there were Easter eggs on sale next to Christmas gifts at the local Shell petrol station. Stocking fillers?\r\n\r\nIn some ways it’s to be expected. It’s what happens when a secular society gets hold of a Christian festival without the patience and understanding to see it through.\r\n\r\nBut it’s not only a feature of a secular society. For many churches the rush in and out of festivals happens at an equally startling pace.\r\n
- It’s as though churches have caught the impatience around them rather than expressing their own mature patience to see the season out.
- It’s as though we need to be always turning to something new or, God forbid, the congregation might get bored.
\r\nIt is written into the seasons of the church, especially in Church of England liturgy, that time should move slowly, which admittedly is hard in a fast world.\r\n\r\nSo how about using these words when planning our way out of our festivals:\r\n
Dwell. Wait. Watch. Feel. Hear.
\r\n(PS: Maybe it can go too far? I also heard today of a man who celebrates Christmas until 2nd February (Candlemas) by leaving Christmas decorations up outside his house. 40 days?)