Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, January 03, 2022

Within the 12 days of Christmas - Rector's Rambling for January 2, 2022

             On the ninth day of Christmas….we gather together to celebrate the Second Sunday after Christmas. 

       Okay, I know that isn’t how the song goes, but, “no thanks” to the  nine ladies dancing and the litany of the other previous eight days’ gifts. 

Even though that song can be quite annoying, it is a reminder that in fact Christmas is a 12 day season, which started back on December 25th (actually after sundown on on the 24th) and goes until January 5th.  Christmas is such a big deal that it cannot be contained to just one day!

For many people, by the time December 25 comes, they are burned out.  The secular world started celebrating, and trying to sell you stuff, way back in November.  Radio stations that were wall-to-wall  carols and songs for weeks gave up on the second day of the actually holiday!  Already Valentine’s Day decorations rule to stores and they move on to the next thing to sell you. 

But we rejoice  to continue the celebration of the 12 days until the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, the day the magi come to worship the newborn king.

Last Sunday a Holy Day was commemorated the day after Christmas.  The Martyr St. St. Stephen’s martyrdom reminds us of the potential cost of discipleship.  The following day on Monday the 27th we thanked God for the 163 anniversary of the incorporation of our parish on the Feast of St. John, , and then on the 28th remembered the Holy Innocents.  St. Thomas Beckett’s martyrdom also made an appearance that week as well.

Then on January 1st the Church remembered yet another major Holy Day.  On the eighth day of Jesus’ earthly life, as a boy born into the original covenant between God and the people of the Jews, shed his first blood through his circumcision.  It is on this day that he formally receives the name Jesus—God Saves.  This is His name and the purpose for His Incarnation—our Salvation.  And we also know that it is ONLY through the name of Jesus that we are saved! (Acts 4:12).

We have today and three more days following to continue our celebration of Christmas.  Join us for a weekday Mass at 12:15, or Evening Prayer at 5 PM (live or livestreamed).  Continue singing Christmas Carols and wishing people a Merry Christmas.  Leave up the decorations and lights, even into Epiphanytide (which begins January 6th). 

The next season, Epiphany, brings us 5 Sundays before we are into the purple of the Gesima Sundays, pre-Lent.