The 12 ____ of Christmas
Seasonal Generosity or Revolutionary Inclusion?
What is the Christmas message we celebrate?
Christmas is for generosity, and that is almost always a good thing. But Christmas takes different forms for different people. For some, Christmas lasts 12 days. For others, Christmas lasts about 12 hours and then you go see a movie.
So I was thinking:
What does the original Christmas message say about the length of Christmas generosities, or more importantly, what comes after seasonal charitableness? What is the actual Christmas message?
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
— Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46–65)
The biblical Christmas message is one of radical inclusion, of bringing down those who exploit their power, and of actively caring for the vulnerable. The Christmas message is not a season, it is a way of life.
12 hours? 12 days?
Perhaps we should try 12 months of Christmas this new year.