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NBC News photo

For people of faith, “the Christmas season” extends far beyond yesterday’s date. Some “old-timers” like myself remember the days when Advent was Advent and the Christmas season began in the evening of December 24th, ending way out on February 2nd, Candlemas Day. As time went on, the traditional ending became the feast of the baptism of Jesus on January 13th or thereabouts. Not so in the marketplace today where “AFTER CHRISTMAS” sales abound!

For those whose hunt for the “perfect Christmas” began before Thanksgiving this year, today may seem either a relief or a disappointment. From travel delays to UPS delivery failures, from the horrific Target snafu to the inability to find the right gift, from intestinal virus to lack of time off from work, this year seemed especially trying in attempts to reach the goal. And this morning it’s snowing again in the northeast and many people are on their way back to work.

I heard a wonderful sermon yesterday morning whose theme was perfection. The celebrant* spoke of our search for what is “perfect” in our lives and in the world and then juxtaposed the coming of Jesus to those images. In the eyes of the world, it seems that God got it all wrong for Jesus. He came to a poor couple – not rich. He was born in a stable – not a castle or a hospital. Shepherds were the first to see this “king” – not the privileged. You get the idea. So as we look back at yesterday, perhaps we might think about how our lives don’t usually go according to a “perfect” plan and consider how God has chosen to manifest in what we consider imperfection and even weakness. In that reflection we might just learn something about what God is trying to say, not just for yesterday but in all the “perfect” days to come.

*Many thanks to Rev. Michael Galuppi for his wise words about the Incarnation.