From the Vicarage
Title: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas …?
I wonder what you will be doing on the twelfth day of Christmas?
It’s probably true to say that by the twelfth day of Christmas (5 January) most people will have stopped celebrating. In fact, people have generally stopped celebrating Christmas by New Year’s Eve, and judging by the amount of food and drink we consume over the festive period, many of us are - quite literally - ‘fed up’ with Christmas by the end of Boxing Day. If you were to go out carol singing on the twelfth day of Christmas (or even on the eleventh, tenth, or ninth days of Christmas) I don’t suppose you would be met with many smiling faces…!
The reason we get fed up with Christmas almost before it begins is that we start celebrating it far too early. Most of our Christmas celebrations happen during the season of Advent, when we should be engaged in a time of watching and waiting. Advent is a season when we are encouraged to anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. It’s a very important time in the Church’s calendar, because it helps us to reflect on our need for a saviour. God put himself into our world in the person of Jesus Christ because we needed him. We needed his presence to teach, to heal, to show us how to live and how to love. And ultimately we needed his presence so that he could give himself over to death on a cross. It is through that immeasurable, unconditional gift of himself that God shows us how much he loves us. This is a gift that was worth waiting for!
So this Advent, why not spend a little time watching, waiting, reflecting on how much God loves you? He loves you so much that he made himself like you. In Jesus he put himself in this dangerous world with all its troubles, and he gave his life for you. Not that you asked him to do that - and not that you or I or anyone deserved it - he simply did it because you are his and you belong to him. Advent is a good time to ponder this amazing mystery; the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God.
Then at last … when Christmas Day arrives, let’s celebrate with overwhelming joy the birth of the saviour of the world who is Christ the Lord. And this year, why not try and keep up that joyful celebration for the full twelve days of Christmas?
This year you can take a reflective journey through the twelve days of Christmas by picking up a copy of Follow the Star. When the crib appears outside All Saints’ Church, reach inside amongst the straw and the animals… and you will find a copy of Follow the Star which is yours to keep.
Don’t finish Christmas on Boxing Day! God’s gift of love is worth carrying on celebrating.
Please see the latest letter from the
Walton Foodbank here