I looked at my journal earlier today and noticed my first reference to Nyquil was on December 5. I had a week’s respite for a vacation (so there ARE miracles) and then I was in bed for three days straight and I am still in some stage of whatever it is. How has YOUR month been?
So why in the world would I begin twelve days of celebration of the Nativity of Jesus, the famous “12 Days of Christmas?” There are a lot of reasons to hole up and practice popular forms of dissociation, or roll up in self pity and exhaustion. Like: 1) I am sick and tired (I am!), 2) I am alone with no one to call, 3) Christian stuff should not be touched or it encourages Christians to think they are right even more than they already think they are, 4) This twleve days stuff has been done and I hate that song, 5) Learning about rituals is for fans, 5) Organized religion is for suckers, 6) My church blew up and I don’t do well by myself. 7) I don’t feel like it. Etc.
Now that I am piling up popular reasons, I realize we could observe the “12 reasons not to observe the 12 days” and start from there.
Emmanuel, God with us
My wife is so sick, we cancelled our annual Christmas breakfast, which may be a 40 year old tradition! So the FIRST day of the 12 days of Christmas is going to get a severe test this year.
Fortunately, we have forty plus years of spiritual discipline to tie us to joy and love that are deeper than germs and war and hypocrisy and cruelty and poverty and lonelinees. We know Jesus does not need the world to work out right to be the light of the world.
The main reason Ben and I wanted to restore our The Transhistorical Body blog was to stay connected to the spiritual disciplines and the Spirit-filled predecessors who keep us tied to our true selves, that rescue us from miry months (like this one has been!) and inspire us to keep our focus on eternity, to turn into our birthright like one season turns into the next, to keep writing our version of the greatest story ever told.
Each day of the twelve days of Christmas we’ll have a special entry over at The Transhistorical Body [Here’s today’s]. Some days you’ll meet an inspiring spiritual ancestor as we celebrate their day, some days you’ll learn about a special day in the Christian calendar. You’ll get resources if you really want to learn something that puts you and your time in history in some perspective. Especially for these twelve days, it will give you a daily reason to sink into the reality that the incarnation of God in Jesus is the scandalous miracle which continues to work into each of us and all of us just like God managed to get into Mary and be born as one of us so we would be the family of God.
PS — Please consider subscribing to The Transhistorical Body. It is just one month old!