December 25, 2018 (First Published December 25, 2015)
Today begins the 12 Days of Christmas.
My perspective on Christmas has changed radically from the days of childhood, and even earlier adulthood.
This year we’ve again experienced again the big buildup. Today is supposed to be climactic, after two months+ of extended hype and binge buying. This year I think I first glimpsed Christmas cheapness in stores as early as September.
Think now of the day Jesus arrived – the Incarnation.
There was no public buildup. In the place of hype: invisibility. He was unnoticed. His arrival marked the First (ever) Day of Christmas. Celebration followed. The Twelve Days of Christmas is not just an annoying song.
Today is not when everything stops. The Twelve Days have just begun. Today is the start of something, not a disappointing letdown after the annual fling.
The Incarnation. That’s what I want occupying my mind today and the next 11 days. And beyond.
Incarnation is a beautiful word.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it.
The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
This is taken from John 1:1-5 & 14, and is a favorite of mine. He “took up residence” among us. Most refuse Him just as they did when He walked this Blue Marble. They have better, more compelling things to which to attend.
To the extent we refuse Him, in private and public life, to that extent we receive negative results – in private and public life. Suppose He had not come. How would things be different?
The Incarnation isn’t just a wondrous thing to contemplate in mysterious, disconnected meditation. It’s meant to be lived. I want to be the Incarnation of Jesus wherever I go, to whomever I meet.
I fall short. but I want this to occupy my mind and heart all year.
Some have said they “wish it could be Christmas all year”. The sentiment is understandable, but I’m not sure they mean what I’m saying here.
And really, is that what anyone wants – Christmas all year?
I hope you revel in your next 11 days of Christmas. Let the Incarnation settle deeply into your mind and spirit. May His Kingdom come to you in a richer way than ever before. He is not far from you. That’s what the Incarnation is all about.
This is the first in a series of 12 consecutive articles on the 12 Days of Christmas. Here are links to the rest of the series:
What Did You Get for Christmas?: Second Day of Christmas
Most People Missed the Good News: Third Day of Christmas
An Event, But So Much More: Fourth Day of Christmas
Are You Still Playing Carols?: Fifth Day of Christmas
Slow It Down: Sixth Day of Christmas
Silvesterpunsch: Seventh Day of Christmas
Let It Snow (or not): Eighth Day of Christmas
Whatever Happened to Christmas?: Ninth Day of Christmas
We Long for Transcendence, but Look in the Wrong Places: Tenth Day of Christmas
So Done with the Holiday: Eleventh Day of Christmas
Those Who Are Wise Still Seek Him: Twelve Day of Christmas