Welcome! As you journey through these Twelve Day of Christmas we invite you to use this approach, which works well for individuals and groups of all ages.
Light a candle. Pause to remember the presence of God filling you with Light and Love.
Pray this Opening Prayer:
Radiant Creator, awaken me to your presence.
Jesus, Light of all Lights, kindle love in my heart.
Spirit of Illumination, guide my path today.
Christmas Reflection for the Day:
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.” (Matthew 2:16-23)
I arise today
through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the threeness,
through confession of the oneness
of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
through the strength
of his resurrection with his ascension.
I arise today
through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s host to save me…
From all who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in a multitude. (attributed to Saint Patrick)
During this adventure of the Twelve Days of Christmas we will discover that “Christmas is not not just a long season of shopping followed by one day of partying; it is twelve days of adventure that beckon us to a lifetime of incarnational living.” (Bruce Epperly)
Thought for Today: The Christmas story is profoundly realistic. Kings and national leaders will condone or even authorize the deaths of children to pursue their own political objectives. But there is another way: The Way of Christmas. The Way of the Prince of Peace is where power is guided by justice and love. Power can be creative and life-supportive. It need not be domineering or destructive. Power can heal, protect, nurture and balance community and personal survival with world loyalty. (adapted from Bruce Epperly)
Set your intention for the day. Say: Today I will pray for God’s will to be done on earth. I pray for a caring world in which all God’s children laugh and play in safe spaces.
Daily Christmas Prayer: Holy One, bless the children and the child in me. Let the Christ Child in Bethlehem inspire me to welcome the child in my heart, to speak for the refugee, to reach out to the forgotten, and work for the coming of Shalom for every child. In the name of the Refugee Jesus. Amen (Bruce Epperly)
Together on the Journey,
P.S. Some of us are reading along in the short devotional book, Thin Places Everywhere: The Twelve Days of Christmas with Celtic Christianity.