I hope your Christmas went as anticipated or, maybe it went by all too quickly?
For many, the hustle and bustle of the weeks leading up to Christmas are so exhausting that Christmas flies by so fast it seems like there is no time to enjoy it. Maybe that is why the Christian church celebrates 12 days of Christmas!
The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the 12 days before Christmas, but the 12 days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany.
The season of Epiphany gives us time to continue singing the Christmas carols and at the same time, let the good news of God’s love for us sink in. And there is a lot that needs to sink in!
God, Himself, anticipated from before the beginning of time that His people would one day need a Savior. He promised His people a Savior, even though they failed Him time after time.
They did not live up to His requirements of obeying Him and loving one another. The people were not looking for a Savior. In fact, they could have cared less.
God knew what mankind needed more than they did, and God keeps His promises! God kept His promise with the coming of His Son into the world.
The Son’s mission was to be what God’s people were unable to be. Jesus lived the perfect life for mankind, perfectly obedient, completely sinless, living in love to the Father. He is Savior because of these things and more. He is also sacrifice, payment for sin, atonement for impurity at the cross.
Being completely God and completely human, He brings the two together. He is reconciler and reconciliation. Having given His life for us, He rose to life again. Christmas He has come!
In Revelation 22:20, Jesus promises that He will come again soon. One more time, He will come to earth. This time it will not be to deal with sin (He has already conquered that upon the cross), but to judge sinners.
Those who love Him and look forward to His second coming have nothing to fear. Though guilty of sinning against God, they are pardoned by His sacrifice. Though undeserving, they receive life eternal by faith in His work accomplished for them. He will come again!
Praise God that He is also here now. Christians do not simply live with the past event and the future hope, certain as those are, but we also live with Christ right now. He lives in us by virtue of our baptism, as we now live as children of God for Jesus’ sake.
Isaiah, the prophet, reminded us 700 years before Jesus came to, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
The light of the world is with us! Jesus has come and will come again! The 12 days of Christmas give us ample time to fully enjoy the season and the real reason for this season.
So, as you look back at all the joys of this holiday season, remember to continue celebrating the One who has made all our true joys possible.