As I write this, I have just come back from helping take down the Church
Christmas tree and decorations and I am listening to Hector Berlioz' The
Shepherds Farewell playing on the radio.
I am reminded that soon after the birth of Jesus we celebrated just days
ago, the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds were back watching
their sheep, and Joseph and Mary would be on the road back home.
In his account of the nativity events, Luke tells us 'Mary kept all
these things in her heart and thought about them often'.
Are we guilty of forgetting about the events we have just celebrated,
until next year when we 'do it all again', or are we like Mary and keep
the wonders of Christmas in our hearts?
As we began a new year and once more commit ourselves to serving you,
help us to remember what it cost you to come and live with us, trusting
your life to a young unmarried teenager, growing up in poverty, and
fleeing in fear of your life as an exile in Egypt.
Help us to learn from your example of how to live our lives in the
service of others, highlighting injustice when we see it, helping those
suffering from poverty, and working for peace.