The day after Christmas, designated as "Boxing Day" in most of the one-time British Empire, including Canada. And St. Stephen's Day elsewhere.
Yesterday was a good day. Christmas is always special, and being on a Sunday makes it even more so. Now, I did get some amazed looks from Wife's side of the family, most of whom make a policy to never darken the door of a church house. They truly believed that church services should have been cancelled in order to provide more family time. Guess they didn't get the concept of Christmas as a Christian event. Yes, we have our challenges before us. So they had their get-together next door, which I joined when I got home. So a Great Time Was Had By All.
And there was an Announcement. Niece next door was wearing a shirt that said "baby bump's first Christmas". Their way of making the announcement. Which occasioned, unfortunately, some of the less wonderful tensions. See, the early (the thing started at 10:30) get-together there was followed at around 3:00 with a get-together with her husband's family two houses up the street. But someone at our gathering took a photo of the shirt and "shared" it on FaceBook, there to be seen by his mom. Who had not yet been told, and was irate that she wasn't the first one informed. Yes, there are some definite in-law issues there. I keep mouth shut and stay out of it.
There are a few more family-type events yet to do, one of them later this evening. This is the sort of thing that Wife had long missed during our many years out of the area. Of course, we didn't hear Word One from our daughters. Nor did I hear from either brother, particularly the one whose wife has banned us, being non-drinking Tea Party types. I got to see my sister for a whole hour last week. Two of my nephews live far from here and are in the military, and I barely know them. The other lives at the far edge of the next county south of here, and they spent the time with her family. So my family time was with Wife, and the cats, and her side. It's OK, I guess. But not the stuff of a Hallmark Channel episode (like the ones wife is watching non-stop).
And the end of one year and the beginning of the next will be upon us in a few days. A week from yesterday will be the New Year. Makes for a lot of thoughts, some good as we look back at how we've been blessed. And some not so good, many from realizing our own sins and failures. So we wistfully resolve to -- with God's help -- do better in the time left to us.
The Old Testament today has us looking at the first three chapters of Zechariah. Note the timing, this is during the reign of Darius the Great, coming after the fall of Jerusalem, and around 520 B.C. Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai. This was after the Persians conquered the Babylonians who had been the conquerors of Judah and Jerusalem around 65 years before. So the Hebrews were already captives and in exile. Zechariah and the other prophets were a reminder that the Lord had not forgotten them, no matter how dismal and desperate their circumstances. A good lesson for us as well.
The New Testament reading is chapter 17 of the Revelation.