Advent Devotional: Sunday, January 4: Eleventh Day of Christmas

Today we’d be expecting the eleven pipers piping, according to that old carol “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

That carol seems to take forever to get through most days.

By now you’re tired of Christmas music anyway, right? If there’s one thing I lament about our current Christmas practice it is not that it starts too early, but that it ends too early. Most people, in their preference, don’t get past the First Day of Christmas before taking down the lights, the tree, the ornaments, and turning off the music.

In ancient days Christmas was this long feast, this long holiday, a time to break from work and break into merriment.

Today we turn our noses up at the continued merriment…

Don’t give in. If the Advent defenders at the beginning of December urge you not to give into Christmas too early, we’re here to tell you not to give into plain old winter too early. This time, too, is sacred.


All time is.


I mean, it’s no wonder that Jesus comes in a very ordinary way. Jesus comes in the ordinary way to bless the ordinary way. And here on a Sunday in early January we’re going to give thanks for the extraordinary Christ who welcomes us into the blessedness of the ordinary.

If there’s one thing that I think we can claim, as we lean away from Christmas Day and lean toward Epiphany, toward awe, toward meaning, it’s that we can find meaning in the ordinary.

We must find meaning in the ordinary.

Because this day…it is not ordinary. No day is, if we trust the Christ story.


Question for reflection: How can you make even ordinary days full of meaning? Journaling? An evening ritual? How will you do it?

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