'It's Only Just Beginning'

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is usually a quiet one around Sojourners magazine and community. Nearly everyone is present for our Christmas Eve celebration, which begins with a joyous and fun-filled time with our children and ends with a quiet candlelight eucharistic service for the adults. During the latter part of our evening, each person steps forward when ready to take the bread and wine and, if she or he desires, to offer up to the Christ-child and the rest of us a scripture passage, a story, or a song.

Christmas Eve is one of our favorite times together in the year. But on Christmas morning, after gifts and warm greetings and expressions of love are exchanged, many of us leave town to spend a few days or a week with other family and friends.

Last year I was one of the few who stayed around. While I missed those who were gone that week, the relative quietness also made it possible to get more work done than when everyone is around. So on the day after Christmas, I rose early to catch a bus to the magazine office, anticipating a productive day.

My mind was already in a distinctly post-Christmas modus operandi. My Christmas gifts had been put away the night before, the news on National Public Radio that morning was back to its normal routine, and, on the other stations, regular pop music had replaced the Christmas carols that had been playing just 12 hours earlier. Christmas was over, and it was time to start thinking ahead.

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