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A Boxing Day Reflection

December 26, 2019

Boxing Day is a festival celebrated in the United Kingdom and in Canada. According to the website, Why Christmas the origin is as follows: It was… the day when rich land owners would give ‘gifts’ (often some leftover food from the main Christmas feast!) to those who worked and lived on their land; and later on it became traditional that servants got the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families on Boxing Day.

Before World War II, it was common for working people (such as milkmen and butchers) to travel round their delivery places and collect their Christmas box or tip.

It is also known as the Feast Day of Saint Stephen. My friend Malcolm Guite (who describes himself as a poet-priest and Chaplain at Girton College Cambridge (England)) wrote this beautiful poem about the feast of St Stephen which gives the history of this first feast day after Christmas in the Christian calendar: On the Feast of Stephen

Boxing Day can also be a time when clergy, church musicians, and other leaders finally breathe a sigh of relief and rest following the full schedule of Advent and Christmas Eve/Day worship services and the months of preparation involved.

This particular Padre is grateful for the quiet of this morning following all of the activities of the day with church, family, and friends. It is an opportunity to slow down and Be Still. I had contemplated stopping my daily blogging which began in mid-December. However I find myself with thoughts to put on “electronic paper” so to speak. While reading Bruce Epperly‘s book The Work of Christmas, I read the following thought from Howard Thurman found in his book, The Mood of Christmas:

The mood of Christmas—what is it? It is the quickening of the presence of other human beings into whose lives a precious part of our own has been released. It is the memory of other days in which an angel appeared spreading a halo over an ordinary moment or a commonplace event. It is an iridescence of sheer delight that bathes one’s whole being something more wonderful than words can ever tell.

Epperly reflected on this passage and shared the following: Christmas is about delight and wonder. It is about experiencing the joy of family and friends, about becoming large-spirited persons, willing to let go of grievances, forgive and forget, and let love guide our way… The spirit of Christmas creates a mood in which commonplace events become portals into divinity, and everyday encounters place us on holy ground.

Dear reader, may the blessings of this holy season continue to unfold in your lives and in your midst.

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