On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

Twelfth Night is here. The season, the Christmas Holydays, come to an end.

We’ve spent twelve days celebrating, pondering, meditating upon the mystery of the Incarnation. We’ve decorated, we’ve eaten, we’ve sung. The West is gearing down for the less important Epiphany – really an extension of Christmas, with the visit of the Magi. (This seem a bit incongruous with the Feast of the Innocents back on the 28th.) The East is gearing up for the more important (and a bit more chronological) Theophany.

One of the best things about the Twelve Days this year has been blogging about it. I’m not saying that these blogs have been my best, but rather that committing to writing each day has given me a reason to really think about each day. It helped me think past the burnout of too much Christmas during Advent.

Taking time to think about each day and record those thoughts (or at least some of them) is a bit like preaching out of the lectionary. It helps avoid the pseudo-spirituality of spontaneity, that persistent idea that the Holy Spirit operates on a whim, with some sort of divine ADHD. I do not doubt that what is often perceived as His sudden move is rather His forbearance with our lack of preparedness and our own spiritual ADHD.

Like the rest of the Church calendar – whichever calendar one chooses – the Twelve Days of Christmas, developed and tested in the wisdom of time, bring spiritual order to our lives. Hopefully they prepare us for a new stage of spiritual growth in the Epiphany season, which in turn prepares us for a new season of spiritual preparation in Lent. And the cycle of the year, and the cycle of life, and the cycle of growth continues. We become sanctified in the sanctification of time.

So what will you do in the next eight weeks before Lent? What is your plan for spiritual growth and maturity?

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