Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
The day has come, the carols sung,
the bells of Christmas have been rung,
the gifts were given, the feast was served,
and one day off of work observed.
But all of that was yesterday,
and even now you’ve put away
the Christmas plates and started to
return to what you always do.
The living room that had been strewn
with toys and clothes all afternoon
has now been tidied up and swept,
(while on the couch your uncle slept).
And with the garbage you might see—
already!—someone’s Christmas tree.

But Christmas isn’t over yet.
We have twelve days in which to let
the child be born in us anew,
to let the holy light shine through,
twelve days to love and give our gifts,
to do some simple thing that lifts
another’s spirits, or their load,
or shines a light along their road,
twelve days to fight the world’s pull
to be asleep and comfortable,
but be awake in trust and care
because the Holy One is near,
twelve days to shine with love, made sure
that we are just the way we were
(and always are) on Christmas night:
in love, at peace, and full of light.

So every day for twelve good days
embody love in simple ways:
share food, write cards, befriend the poor,
do someone else’s dirty chore,
stand up for justice, sing a song—
let all you do for twelve days long
be what you give and do and are
for Mary’s child beneath the star.
Let each day be a Christmas prayer
of joy and thanks and loving care,
each day, though it be bright or blah,
a day of gratitude and awe:
amidst the dark, a day of cheer
for our Beloved One is here.

Merry Christmas

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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