There is something about this time of year with the Magi having visited and the Holy Family not having made it to the Temple yet, it is almost as if it is another waiting time, about the same length as Advent yet somehow it slips by in quiet a different way, almost unnoticed. (Yes I know Epiphany is longer than Advent but I think it splits into two before and after Candlemas.) Today as I rushed from one visit to another I caught the sound of The Bryds, Turn! Turn! Turn! drifting out of someone’s car, hardly a Christmas Carol played too early, but it did get me to thinking, did the occupant of that car know where the words came from. It also sent me off on a wee spiral of useless thought as to whether or not we should hear the Nunc Dimittis during these 28 days – I decided we should if you have nothing better to do than wonder if I came to any conclusion.
We in churches as very quick to try and point people to the reason for the season when it comes to Christmas and indeed that Advent is a separate season not meant for Christmas Carols but do we tell of this season. This season of manifestation, of revelation, of the beginning of new promises. Actually I was wrong it isn’t really a season of waiting at all, it is a season of starting to plan and putting into action, or at least it should be. We have heard the angels, we have knelt with the shepherds and Magi, now what? What are we going to do with the discovery of Emmanuel, God with us? How are we going to carry out our Baptismal promises? Maybe that is why we don’t tell because we are busy preparing, getting on with things. Or is it more like all too soon we will have drifted into Lent and be declaring it is time to take stock again?
Time is a precious gift and as it has been said before, it waits for no one. So just what are we doing with this time, this time of Epiphany. Plough Sunday was traditionally held at this time of year, a time for preparing the soil for the new seed, how apt is that, preparing the soil so it falls not on rocky ground not where it will get strangled by weeds, but on good soil where when that grain of wheat falls it will be able to produce a good harvest.