One of the things that I love about Christmas is the unexpected surprises that spring up. Today is Boxing Day here in Canada and folks lined up in the middle of the night…but not to look at a star to guide them to a stable, but rather to look for a table–or more accurately, a tablet. They lined up for furniture, electronics and deals of all kinds. Even though they had just gotten a pile of presents the day before, some folks had to run out and buy more stuff.
The meaning of Christmas gets lost sometimes once the day is over. The priests at my parish mentioned this wonderful Youtube video that you can find at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM1XusYVqNY&app=desktop that tells the story of how God decides to send Jesus to earth that first Christmas. As he describes his plan, the angels react. “Brilliant! They won’t be expecting that,” shouts one angel. Perhaps we need another shake up, this time on Boxing Day. Is shopping really what the meaning of the season calls us to do?
Today in the Church is the Feast Day of St. Stephen. The day after Christmas, the Church chooses to celebrate its first martyr. On Boxing Day the church does something brilliant, something we are not expecting. We go from the joy and wonder of Christmas to the sorrow and horror of the stoning of Stephen. We move from the crib to the cross in 24 hours. The Church links the cradle to the crucifixion to remind us why the Babe was born. Brilliant, I would say! Would you agree?