A.C.E. The 12 Days of Christmas

On the 1st Day of Christmas ….

  • Luke 2:1-20

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant.While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guest room.

Announcement to shepherds

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child.18 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them.19 Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20 The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas …

God Is With Us

On the 3rd Day of Christmas …

A real treat. The man who taught me to preach, Dr. Fred Craddock, on “Jesus Saves“.

On the 4th Day of Christmas …

Luke 2:22-40

22 When the time came for their ritual cleansing, in accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (23 It’s written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.”) 24 They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.[a]

25 A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law.28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,

29 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
30     because my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
32 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and a glory for your people Israel.”

33 His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him.34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that generates opposition 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years. 37 She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to their hometown, Nazareth in Galilee. 40 The child grew up and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

On the 5th day of Christmas …

God, our Comforter, we tarry in your temple, waiting and watching for a sign. You promised that those who hunger for righteousness will be delivered. But death swaggers now outside our door, taunting us with each strike of the ticking clock. Redeem us, God. Send you life into our midst; deliver your spirit into our hearts. Then we, once feeble, shall cry, “God, my mother!” We, once feeble, shall cry, “God, my father!” We, once feeble, will become your children; we, once feeble, will take your name.

On the 6th day of Christmas …

Embrace the Child and bless your God

For the works of God’s hands are faithful and just.

They have set a star to hang in the sky;

With a blazing touch, our God shall lead us.

They have sewn the world a garment of light;

With swaddling love our God shall clothe us.

For the Child’s sake, let us not keep silent;

For the Child’s sake, let us not find rest,

Until all God’s earth is robed in brightness,

Until all God’s earth shall burn with life!

On the 7th day of Christmas …

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word

    and the Word was with God
    and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
    and without the Word
    nothing came into being.
What came into being
    through the Word was life,[a] 
    and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.

The true light that shines on all people
    was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through the light,
        but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to his own people,
    and his own people didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
        those who believed in his name,
    he authorized to become God’s children,
13         born not from blood
        nor from human desire or passion,
        but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh
    and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
    glory like that of a father’s only son,
        full of grace and truth.

15 John testified about him, crying out, “This is the one of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than me because he existed before me.’”

16 From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace;
17     as the Law was given through Moses,
    so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God.
    God the only Son,
        who is at the Father’s side,
        has made God known.

On the 8th day of Christmas …

God’s word runs swiftly to the ends of the earth! It carries glad tidings of creation’s rebirth!

Let us enter the new age, let us turn to the light, let us build a new earth, let us celebrate new life!

We arrive in a garden where suffering shall fade! Proclaim the goodness of all God has made!

Let us enter the new age, let us turn to the light, let us build a new earth, let us celebrate new life!

On the 9th day of Christmas …

Shout, “Hosanna!” and sing, “Alleluia!” For the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

We have seen the star in the East, and have come to worship the Lord.

Cast your eyes round about, and behold the coming together of people from all over the world: exiles from the West marching hand in hand with sages from the East –

For it is good in God’s sight that we walk together.

The Lord has come to judge the people with righteousness and the poor with justice;

To defend the cause of the weak and give deliverance to the needy.

The Lord has come upon us like rain on the mown grass,like showers that water the earth –

To turn the abundance of the sea to our good and restore earth’s treasures to the people.

The Lord reigns from sea to sea and from Bethlehem to the ends of the earth!May the leaders of the West, like the sages of the east, lay their treasures at the Lord’s feet,

That we may know the hope that is born; that we may behold the new world we are given!

On the 10th day of Christmas …

Jeremiah 31:7-14

The Lord proclaims:
Sing joyfully for the people of Jacob;
    shout for the leading nation.
Raise your voices with praise and call out:
    “The Lord has saved his people,[a]
    the remaining few in Israel!”

I’m going to bring them back from the north;
    I will gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the disabled,
    expectant mothers and those in labor;
        a great throng will return here.
With tears of joy they will come;
    while they pray, I will bring them back.
I will lead them by quiet streams
    and on smooth paths so they don’t stumble.
I will be Israel’s father,
    Ephraim will be my oldest child.

10 Listen to the Lord’s word, you nations,
    and announce it to the distant islands:
The one who scattered Israel will gather them
    and keep them safe, as a shepherd his flock.
11 The Lord will rescue the people of Jacob
    and deliver them from the power of those stronger than they are.
12 They will come shouting for joy on the hills of Zion,
    jubilant over the Lord’s gifts:
        grain, wine, oil, flocks, and herds.
Their lives will be like a lush garden;
    they will grieve no more.
13 Then the young women will dance for joy;
    the young and old men will join in.
I will turn their mourning into laughter
    and their sadness into joy;
        I will comfort them.
14 I will lavish the priests with abundance
    and shower my people with my gifts,
        declares the Lord.

On the 11th day of Christmas …

There is a people sent from God whose name is Hope.

And the people named Hope shall bear witness to the light; despair shall not overcome us.

There is a people sent from God whose name is Love.

And the people named Love shall bear witness to the light; hatred shall not overwhelm us.

There is a people sent from God whose name is Life.

And the people named Life shall bear witness to see light; death shall not overpower us.

On the 12th day of Christmas …

In the 1st week of Advent you placed your struggles, pains, angst in the manger with the baby. Did you leave them there? If not, it’s not only ok but right for you to give these gifts back to the baby in the manger. The baby glories in your hope, your trust, your faith and will work to your good in all things. Gifting the baby with your burden is the expression of hope, trust, and faith God desires. Be a person whose name is Hope, Love and Life. Bear witness that all might hope, see the light, and have life.

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