Why would anyone seriously want 12 days of Christmas? Most of us can gain enough pounds just in 2 or 3 holiday meals to make the approaching year a dance with death! What’s left to do after two feasts and a couple of parties? Do you really yearn for more time to shop or play that inane Dirty Santa white elephant gift game one more time this year?
I could spend 12 great days visiting Israel at Christmas, of course. But in the Holy Land, you can almost see Jesus walking around or teaching people everywhere you look. If we could somehow see more of the Lord, a twelve day Christmas would be more appealing, more inspiring.
So last week, I was struck with idea that really excites me. What if I could spend 12 days of Christmas letting other people see more of Jesus? What would happen if I set aside 12 days for my Christmas worship and found at least one chance to give something away every day?
Granted, most of us get really busy with family a couple of those days: the people we love most plus some other folks we see only once every year or two. Amid all those faces, there are surely some people who need prayer or encouragement or a listening ear or $100 for some groceries. So I want to spend two days giving away time, prayer and resources to my family.
Then there are the other ten days: so much to do so little time. It occurs to me I don’t have to concentrate very hard to come up with the names of people I know who could use an extra burst of joy in December: people who live alone and have no one to share Christmas with; folks who have been unemployed or under-employed for months; friends battling serious illnesses who wonder if this might be their last Christmas on earth.
Some people could use money for groceries while others need nothing more sacrificial than a personal visit over a cup of tea. I’m thinking I can share a coat or some jeans with someone who really needs them; drop some extra money in the red kettle with a man ringing a bell nearby.
I’m not mentioning this because I feel so spiritual. To the contrary, it strikes me that I must be pretty selfish and carnal to have waited all these years to think of something like this. So to make up for my craven delay, I thought I’d suggest it to you just in case you like the idea as well. It might not change the world at all if hundreds of us counted out the 12 Days of Christmas one good deed at a time. But then again….
It would have to be good for the world if I helped a few people see more of Jesus. It would surely be good for me.
Lift up the Cross of Christ!