Such a frail lot we’ve all become! We prepare for Christmas for the four weeks of Advent, then take a whopping 24 hours to ‘celebrate’ Christmas. Today, the second day of Christmas, is, for many, back to work as usual, time to put away the decorations, toss the tree to the curb (kerb for our European friends), and begin preparing for New Year’s. All because we’re exhausted and can’t keep up the celebrating for more than a day. Yet, many cultures fully enjoy taking days plural for a big event, like a wedding or a festival or a Feast (in the case of our Jewish friends).
In our case, an exclusive Royal invitation to acknowledge the arrival of our Savior, our Rescuer, our Liberator, surely must merit more than a 24-hour something. We are currently in a 12-day ‘season,’ called Christmas. (As mentioned, today is the 2nd of 12). And even that hardly seems adequate, given the enormity of Christ’s birth, this One born to us. What would it be like to fix our concentration on everything his arrival, and specifically, his arrival in our hearts, means to us for the entire 12 days of Christmas? How might we better design the way we respond to this gift of freedom, this gift of life eternal, this gift of love and belonging? How might we, like those first lucky shepherds, go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born – to us, for us?
I’m not suggesting more commercialized excess, but a kind of rare and beautiful expression of heartfelt thanks for a gift which words alone fail to honor. It is radical, but I think it is a worthy thing for every Christian household to ponder. Can we, like those shepherds, truly gossip the message of the good news we’ve just heard, everywhere we go for these twelve days? Would people think we’ve gone berserk? Would it matter? Maybe the question is, would Jesus think he’s a worthy focus of these 12 days? Do we? PD
ps Merry Christmas, y’all.