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Advent and Christmas Celebration

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 1: December 25, Christmas Day

Joe Hittle

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Please, click on the midi player to hear the music, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

[1st Day of Christmas:  Nathan Harris]


The memories come flashing back. Family, friends, carols, special gifts, special events, special . . . everything.  It all seems so close. So welcome. So wonderful. And, it should.

A fresh awareness of whom we are always seems to come alive today. As the memories dance in and out and as the sparkling lights and tinsel provide an easy dream world escape, the days of yesterday seem to become the time of now once again. We revel in the delicious awareness that we have always been loved. And it seems, for those delightful moments of revelry, that nothing has ever been wrong in the world.

And then, we remember. Sometimes it comes crashing back like a flood. "Peace on earth, good will to men" is a wonderful pronouncement of angelic heraldry. But, it is not the reality of the world in which we live at all. As important as the advent of the Savior is, the task He came to initiate has not yet been fulfilled. It is not even difficult to realize that.

So, on this day, this Christmas Day, what can we do to accomplish whatever is our part of the task that Jesus' coming was meant to cause to happen?

Peace on earth: Let it start within your own heart.

Good will to men: Look at your family, or those close by. Look up from this screen. There is a world around you that you are to influence. Let the good will begin in and shine from you. Someone has to start the process.

"The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."

You and I, and our neighbors, are His purpose. We always have been. We always will be. He came to so fully change our lives that the angel's pronouncement to Joseph had been, " . . . and He SHALL save His people . . .."

Our relationships, every one of them, are damaged by whom we are without Him. He came to save us from the damage that is part of us, a damage that we did not seek, and yet can do nothing about in our own strength. His desire is that those relationships be healed.

Us to Him
Us to ourselves
Us to each other.

Who would ever have thought that such a thing could be put into motion by such a seemingly common occurrence? He was just a baby that day. Helpless, susceptible to danger, small, insignificant. But, OH, how the world was forever changed.

The tinsel, the garland, the lights and ornaments. They are only but a dim reminder of how much glory God ushered into the world that day so very long ago. On their own, they are pretty sights that captivate even a child's imagination. But, in contrast, only a small candle in comparison to the glory God gave to us that day.

Merry Christmas !! It is but one aspect of God's wonderful gift!

-Joe Hittle
Ottumwa, Iowa, USA

Daily Devotional Readings*
[Psalm 2, 85] [Micah 4:1-5] [1 John 4:7-16] [John 3:26-31]


With JOY and GLADNESS and PRAISE we say Thank You!! We know we do not deserve what You have given. Your Son is a gift too precious for us to comprehend. Father, today, fill our hearts with Your presence. Immanuel has come. God is with us!! You are for us. You are in us. We are forever changed. Lord, we lift Your name on high!


*These readings are adapted from the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, Year 2.  For Year 1 readings, see Daily Readings, Christmas 1.

Music courtesy of Christmas Carols and Songs.   Background provided by The Bud.  Graphics for the Twelve Days of Christmas by Detroit News.
The Animations were designed by Nathan Harris. These are used with permission.

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