Tomorrow is the Sunday before Christmas, and on the Eastern Orthodox calendar this means the reading is Matthew 1:1-25.  This pericope is extraordinary for many reasons, but part of its charm is that the long list of names and the repetition lures people into not paying attention, and yet therein lies the key – there is a reason all the names are rattled off.  More tomorrow on this.

I spent some time this morning getting the church ready for liturgy tomorrow.  I have had several conversations, and I think I have even blogged about this, regarding the fact that in our society we start the Christmas season during Advent, whereas Lent leading to Easter legitimately feels like Lent.  We celebrate Christmas after having basically celebrated it for a month.  But I have to say that liturgically at least it does feel like Advent.  We have, as we do in Lent, a lead-up to the holiday\holy day, but it is not as intense as Lent and Holy Week services.  Church is in this sense a refuge from the holiday madness that everyone seems to get caught up in.  I am looking forward to tomorrow and my favorite gospel pericope – see you then…

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