It’s maybe an insignificant thing, but have you ever noticed how it’s enough to send thoughts and memories and ideas spooling off like cotton candy onto a paper cone, one leading to another, not necessarily related, not necessarily even congruent with those preceding? My latest was an arresting glimpse, the January page of the 2021 wall calendar beside Sue’s desk in our home office. It shows Sundays in the far-right block like they always used to be when I was a kid. The weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are even shaded in to distinguish them from the other days of the week. That says to me that a week is six days plus a Sabbath – six days, then a day of replenishing often-depleted God-awareness. From there, I thought, well, two weeks makes twelve days bookended by two much-needed, God-ordained Rest Days. Twelve Days. Just like the Christmas Season – oh, by the way, today is Day 12, and tonight is Twelfth Night, when gifts have been traditionally exchanged. The English Measurement System with its base of twelve is another comforting thing – at least now that the twelve times table has been mastered (sure, base ten is simpler when multiplying, but still foreign-feeling and those conversions are killer.) We have twelve inches in a foot, twelve months in a year. And twelve days to celebrate both the coming and the life of the Christ child-Messiah, Redeemer, Resurrected Son of God, Intimate Ally. (I should have warned you this was a bit dizzying to follow, a bit random, very stream of consciousness.) May I tell you something though? I absolutely love the inner quiet, the reflective quality, the unhurriedness of these twelve days. The madness, the anxiety, the packed calendar (of a normal year) which I also totally get into, by the way, (I’ve been told this is the ultimate weirdness) are all over and done with and then begins this blessed stillness, this space apart, to zero in on Jesus’ beauty, his brilliance, his benevolence; to breathe in the pure air of the Gospel as it speaks to me of the mystery of the ages, of how God, who created all things, still looks on me with tenderness, compassion, joy and most incredibly of all, love! There is a sense of getting filled to the brim, satisfied and at peace, gladdened and invigorated and eager for the upcoming fifty-two Sabbaths – and, yes, all the weeks in between. If you can’t relate, there’s no need for despair. There’s another December 25 coming up at the end of this batch of 12, kicking off yet another invitation to soak up and soak in the sublime deliciousness of Christmas – when eggnog comes once more!  PD

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