I love that the church, in all her wisdom, decreed so many feast days during the 12 days of Christmas. I also love that Christmas has 12 days and is a season. So much of the world seems ready to put Christmas away with the wrapping paper scraps and head back to work as usual. While the "work as usual" part can't be helped for some of us, knowing that Christmas is a whole, hallowed season somehow helps to infuse these still dark-outside days (it just keeps raining here!) with light and hope. Our commemoration of the Savior's birth is just the beginning -- now comes the 'real work of Christmas' -- to nourish that new life in ourselves, in others, and in the world.
And who better to sing to us in these dark, waning days of the year than John the Apostle, whose feast day we observe today?
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish." John 1:14
"This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves." 1 John 3:16
"What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it - we're called children of God! That's who we really are." 1 John 3:1a
"The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out." John 1:5
"I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all the first order of things gone"...The City doesn't need sun or moon for light. God's Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp!" Revelation 21:1-4, 23
(All Scripture quotations taken from The Message)