The holy day of Christmas
December 30, 2013
by Pastor Tim Wheatley, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato

Merry Christmas!

No, I did not forget which week I am writing for – I know it is Dec. 30, and I still want to wish you a merry Christmas.

While many of us walk around wishing people a “Merry Christmas” most of December, we often stop on the 25th because, well, Christmas is over, and it is time to change our greeting to, “Have a happy new year.” However, when the church calendar was put together, the church decided that this event, this birth of the Christ child, was so important that one day of celebrating was not enough.

It was decided that the Christmas season would have 12 days (thus, the origin of the 12 days of Christmas), but unlike that true love who would use the 12 days to give more and more extravagant presents, I would encourage you to give and receive your gifts on day one, and then spend the next 11 days thinking about the greatest gift that you received — Christ, Immanuel, entering the world to seek you out, and to save you! These 12 days are given so that we can feast and share the joy of God’s gift to us.

I will be honest – sometimes on Christmas day, I have been so busy with travel, visits, opening presents, cleaning up after presents, and chasing over-excited children around the house that it is difficult for me to focus on the real gift of the season. Luckily, we have 12 days to do it.

Normally, the day after Christmas Day is the time when I can sit at my house, just looking at the Christmas lights, thinking about the Light of the world and how my life has completely changed because of His gift.

I recently re-read Numbers, and in verse 9, God commands those who are traveling during the Passover to celebrate it the next month, when they are home. I would likewise say, if you were so busy with the holiday that you missed the Holy Day, there is still time!

So, have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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