There was a concern once, probably founded, that we were holding to a form of godliness but denying its power with our rituals and our traditions.
So we minimized the role of Rite in our lives. We divested our faith from our religion because religion, we knew, would not get us into heaven. It's all about a relationship now.
But it's a relationship without context a relationship without action as if you could be in a relationship with someone and never do anything together.
Tonight is 12th night or Epiphany. A totally meaningless day, since we've stripped it of all meaning.
Once we celebrated the coming of the Magi and the gifts they gave to Jesus. Once we said that there were 12 Days of Christmas this being the last. There's even a song which survives so from that time. Most people don't even know what it means, the exact opposite of what we were attempting to do when we divested our faith from our rites.
Once we saw it as the end of the Christmas season. I think if any end of the Christmas season exists now probably most people see it as New Year's. It's close enough I suppose.
Biblically the coming of the Magi is likely the end of the story of Jesus infancy. And so it's fitting to have that be the end of the Christmas season. But I guess Christmas and the Bible have nothing to do with each other; the Supreme Court has ruled on this.
Yeah it's important to end the Christmas season and it's important to end the time when we think of Christ as a baby. The Incarnation is probably the most important part of Christianity. However the Incarnation does not end with the nativity. The most important parts of the Incarnation occur after the Nativity.
It matters that God himself became a man, not just became a baby, and that he lived a perfect life as a man and died a sacrificial death that freed us from our sins. When Martyrs died and when Saints spoke it wasn't for a baby in a Manger as amazing as that was. It was for a man who was God and the amazing new way he taught us to live and the amazing sacrifice he gave.
So if we're no longer going to celebrate Jesus becoming a man, not just a baby, through Rite, then we should at least acknowledge the moment in words.
Or perhaps it is okay to go ahead and do it in rite.