The preacher yesterday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield was the Rev'd William Mounsey who reminded the congregation that Christmas does not end until the 2nd February and that by then all decorations should have been removed! The church in which I worshipped as a young man used to keep the crib up until the 2nd February and often tried to keep the tree going as well (with mixed results). This year, however, a week after Christmas ends Lent begins (Ash Wednesday 10th February). Everything in the church's year seems to be speeding by in 2016 and we will have a lot of ordinary time later in the year to 'enjoy'.
William also reminded us that at the Presentation of Christ in the temple his mother was warned of the coming events which would pierce her heart and Candlemass rightly reminds us that Christmas does not exist without the passion of Christ and his resurrection. So perhaps this year we can all see the direct link between these events and give thanks to God for our salvation given in that helpless child and brave man.
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