Christmas in February


is it time to take the tree down?
 On the 40th day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

Everyone knows the words of the 12 days of Christmas, but imagine if there were 40. Would it be possible to come up with a list of 40 gifts as ridiculous as the original 12? Maybe 40 Iowans a Caucusing? 

If we counted this far, today would be the 40th day of Christmas. On the church calendar, it is the day Jesus was presented in the temple. Mary and Joseph showed up in the temple with “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” unable to afford the usual gift of a lamb. Simeon exclaimed “my eyes have seen your salvation.” 

 This is a somewhat strange statement. At this point, Jesus isn’t even six weeks old yet. He hasn’t taught, performed a miracle, or done any work of salvation. As the theologian Shrek would say, all a baby does at this age is “cry when they poop and poop when they cry.”

And yet, somehow, Simeon saw salvation. Maybe being in the temple gave him clearer eyes. As one who recently returned from Israel, I can attest that it is easier to see the Lord in sacred places. 

But God’s work of salvation is not limited to a distant event or place. Salvation happens all around us.

Today a woman waiting to shop in the Free Store celebrated her birthday and her two year anniversary of sobriety. 

A man was filled with gratitude for the bounty he received in the fresh market but said, “I would be happy if I only got a pear.”

Another woman shared how bitterness had been removed from her heart.

In all these, and many more, my eyes saw salvation; like celebrating Christmas in February.

Salvation is all around us, if we only turn our eyes in that direction.


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