Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Same Old, Same Old With the Son of God

Boredom
Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com
"On the 5th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me... downtime."

In the version of the Christian calendar followed in the western world this is the 5th Day of Christmas -- the one where your supposed to get those famous "five golden rings." But despite that, there are no holy feasts today, no commemorations like the one I mentioned the other day marking the first martyrdom in the Christian Movement. If you happen to be a big fan of Thomas Becket this would be the day you remember him, though it has nothing to do with Christmas (although he was yet another martyr...).

But there is a lesson in this day. After all, even life with the newborn Son of God wasn't a miracle-a-minute. There were no doubt weeks and months where nothing happened outside of ordinary, droning, peasant family life. Even the fact that they were refugees in Egypt for some time wouldn't have altered the mundaneness of the life of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus much.

Days like the 5th Day of Christmas, which basically just tick off time in the commemoration of Jesus' young life, help bring home the reality of all this. They hint that, despite all the wonders that swirl around the Holy Family at crucial moments, they were much more like us with all our prosaic concerns than we may think. As the Gospel of Luke tells us a little later on, most of Jesus' early life could be described this way: "The little boy Jesus was developing into a mature young man, full of wisdom. God was blessing him," (Luke, chapter 2 verse 40, ERV).

But that's to be expected. It is in legends and fairy tales that miracles happen every minute; here we are dealing with history. It just happens to be history in which God is with us.


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