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).
And now the hope, peace, joy, and love of the four Sundays of Advent has led us to today: the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Christmas starts today and lasts for twelve days. By the way, that’s what the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is about. It’s one gift (or set of gifts!) for each of the twelve days of the Christmas season. Now you know and now you can win that trivia game you’re playing with your family tonight.
We now join the cloud of witnesses of those who have gone before us as we celebrate the Gift of Jesus. More than just a technicality of the calendar, Christmas doesn’t END today. It BEGINS!
Today, we are the witnesses spreading the word we have experienced about this Child, Jesus (see Luke 2:16-17).
For disciples of Jesus, it’s not just about the number of days on a calendar.
I really don’t care if you celebrate for twelve days, two days, or three months (but for the sake of your neighbors, you might want to take down your outside lights before the end of January).
It’s not about the calendar; it’s about us living in the reality of Christmas.
For disciples of Jesus, Christmas is our annual reminder of the cross and resurrection. Without these two events, Christmas is meaningless, right? “There have been many babies to become kings,” the song “One King” states, “but only one King became a baby.”
From my family to yours: Have a very merry Christmas!
Please join me starting on January 4, 2023, when we restart our study through John’s Gospel.