In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage. (Matthew 2:1&2)
Although Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have come and gone, we are still in the season of Christmas. Whether you think of it as Christmastide, the twelve days of Christmas, or Christmas Time, we have several more days of celebration in front of us.
The liturgical season of Christmas lasts two weeks. We have two weeks to celebrate and give thanks for the gift of the Christ Child. These two weeks include epiphany (The celebration of the Magi coming to Bethlehem) and Transfiguration Sunday (The Celebration of Christ’s Baptism).
During this season of Christmas- I wonder:
“How are you celebrating and giving thanks in your homes and church communities?”
Take time each day to recognize the season, to give thanks for the Christ child, and to celebrate all that Christ’s birth means to you and your family. Read the stories again and wonder together as you ponder how Christ’s presence shapes your life, your family, and your church community.
- What your favorite part of Christmas is?
- What the hardest part of Christmas is?
- What you want to give thanks for this Christmas?
- Who showed you Christ’s light this Christmas?
- How you can share Christ’s light with others this Christmas?
Giving Thanks and Celebrating Christmas Together
- Keep your Nativity out in the home/at church.
- Move the Magi/Wisemen closer to the stable everyday, having them arrive on Epiphany (January 6th)
- Read and Re-enact the story
- Create Christmastide traditions:
- Host an Epiphany Dinner
- Make a King’s Cake together, eat and celebrate on Epiphany
- Check out Pinterest for some great recipe ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/teustacegbod/christmastide-and-epiphany/
- Chalk your door for Epiphany
- An epiphany tradition that involves marking your door with chalk and asking God’s blessing upon the house and all who live and visit your home throughout the coming year. It also serves as a reminder that the home should be a place of hospitality where Christ’s love is felt and shared.
- Checkout Pinterest for an explanation of this epiphany tradition: http://www.pinterest.com/teustacegbod/christmastide-and-epiphany/
- Sample Liturgy: (Involve all persons in this liturgy- assign the numbered readers to each family member)
- Reader 1: Peace be to this house.
- All: And to all who live here.
- Reader 2: Lord, bless this house, this family, and all who might visit us this year.
- Reader 3: May this home be a place of peace, love, and health.
- Reader 4: May all who live here seek to follow you.
- Reader 5: May we be welcoming to all who visit, sharing your love with others.
- Reader 1: God, we thank-you for the epiphany star that guided the wiseman
- Reader 2: We pray that we might follow your light as we go into the world to share your love with others.
- Reader 3: Be with us in our work and play
- Reader 4: Help us discover you in all we do.
- Reader 5: This we ask in your Holy Name…
- All: For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen.Then, use the chalk to bless the house with the sign of the cross.After the blessing,
the initials of the Magi
(traditional names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar)
are written with chalk over the main door way of the house, like this:
20 + C + M + B + 15
- Light the Christ Candle together: Find time each day to gather as a family, light the Christ Candle from your advent wreath, and say an epiphany prayer together. Take time to pray for your family, your church, your community, and the world:
Lord Jesus, Thank-you for your light. Your light guided the magi to Bethlehem. We pray your light will guide us too.This Christmastide help us as we work to follow you in all that we do, sharing your light with everyone we meet. Amen.