Christmas has started! 
For over 1,500 years, the church has celebrated Advent beginning four
Sundays before Christmas Day and ending at the stroke of midnight on Christmas
Eve (technically, that would be Christmas Day, of course).  After that, Christians down through the
centuries have celebrated Christmas for twelve days.  We now join the cloud of witnesses of those
who have gone before as we celebrate the Gift of Jesus.  Christmas doesn’t END today, it BEGINS!


“While they
were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her
firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because
there was no room for them in the inn”
(Luke 2:6-7).


is the message of Christmas: our Savior has been born.   Still
today, He is born, “incarnated” in the hearts of those who accept Him as their
Lord and Savior.  The message of
Christmas is one of hope, peace, joy and love. 
It is a hope that only God can give. 
It is a peace that only comes from the reconciliation between God and
humanity.  It is a joy springing from the
Author of all good things.  And it is a
love in God the Father giving the world His Son.  The Apostle John summarized Christmas this


Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the
glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…No
one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side,
has made him known”
(John 1:14,18).


A song said it well: “Tonight, Heaven touches
earth: promised Holy birth, a manger holds this wondrous sight.  Tonight, we hear the angels sing.  We see the newborn King for God has sent His
holy Light, tonight.”
(“Tonight, Heaven Touches
Earth” Words and Music by Randy Vader and Jay Rouse © 2008 PraiseGathering


Take time today to reflect on this question: “what changed
since Christmas?”  Not only is that a
great book by the late D. James Kennedy, it is an appropriate question to
reflect on during this season.  What has
changed in your life as a result of what we celebrate?  If Jesus has been born in your heart, do you
live this way?  Is Christmas just a
secular holiday for you or does it actually remind you of Easter?  Oh yes…Easter.  Without Easter, Christmas has no
meaning.  “There have been many babies to become kings, but only one King became
a baby.”
(“One King” Words and Music by David Phelps ©
2007 Wordspring Music)


Suggestions for reading and meditation through the next
twelve days:

Psalm 8

Psalm 96

Psalm 98

Psalm 147: 12-20

Psalm 148

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Isaiah 60:1-6

Matthew 1:18-24

Matthew 2:13-23

Luke 2:1-20

Luke 2:22-40

Ephesians 3:1-12

Song: “One King” (by David Phelps)

Song: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (I’m
partial to the “Casting Crowns” version)

Song: “He Made A Way in a Manger (by Vicky