For 24 days, we focus on preparing our hearts and homes for the fulfillment that is Christmas Day: the arrival of the promised Messiah. We study the steps from the Fall and God’s vow not to leave us wandering outside of his presence all the way to a stable and a teenage mother birthing the Son of God in the same blood and the same pain as every mother before her or after her has experienced. Advent is profound; Christmas is awe-inspiring.
And then, for modern followers of Christ, it is gone.
Christmas, for most of us who follow non-liturgical traditions, is boxed up and swept away within a few days. The tree may linger, the lights may not quite come down until the man of the house gets a day off, but Christmas? Christmas is done.
It wasn’t always this way. For centuries, Christmas actually started on December 25, after a rich Advent lead-up. For the next twelve days, Christians rejoiced in the incarnation of God With Us. After that initial burst of joy over the birth of the babe, there was a period of deep reflection over what that actually meant. He is here. What does this change?
The answer: Everything.
Many of us are not familiar with the tradition of the twelve days of Christmas, but we like the idea of taking this time to reflect and be still. If you’re drawn at all to the notion of drawing out the celebration, I invite you to join our family in the coming days as we journey through the Twelve Days in real time– Christmas Day through Epiphany. As usual, this will be an extremely real real time. We’ve got a birthday and a move sandwiched in those days. But the joy you’ll see as we ponder Jesus will be no less because of the busyness.
We’ll be using a devotional that Christopher wrote as our guidebook through the season. Based on the traditional song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” we’ll be looking at the fullness of Christ, as well as the goodness of God. If your family is looking for a tool to assist your celebration, or if you’d like a boost for your post-Christmas quiet time, we’d love to share this devotional with you in an ebook format. We’re asking for a $4.99 donation to our nonprofit, The Global Missionary, to continue our work in sharing the Gospel with unreached people groups in Nepal in exchange for the ebook. Follow the PayPal link at the bottom of this post to purchase, and we’ll send you the ebook within 24 hours. You’ll be blessed, and a blessing at the same time!
From the book’s introduction:
There’s no real prescribed way to read it. You could do it in one sitting probably, take it a day at a time, read it alone or out loud with family. However you use it, just be sure to take a moment and reflect on the fact that there are only a few things we can ever be assured of in this life.
Yes, there are death and taxes, but really — and more importantly — there’s one Father in heaven who loves us more than anyone on this planet who ever bought, brought or made us a gift. His love is never-ending, His promises never fail, and He gave us His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him, shall never perish, but have everlasting life.
That’s the true meaning of Christmas. That’s the blessing. That’s Jesus Christ.