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Tenth day of ChristmasI wasn’t planning on posting this soon after Christmas, but I found myself using my facebook statuses as almost mini blog posts….

I’ve been posting a message each day relating to the twelve days of Christmas. Some have been lighthearted, some inspired encouragement, some in-between. You see I was keen to ensure a spirit of Christmas was kept alive for the whole twelve days. I find it very sad that folk want to “get it over and done with”. We seem to have got the whole season backwards, spending months (in some cases) in the build up and then want to confine it to that one day. And yes to an extent the story of Christmas is about the Creator of the universe confining himself in a the cloth and wood of the swaddling and the manger. But you know what, the coming of our creator cannot be confined to one day. True celebrations take time to breathe, to have an ebb and flow, to connect with different parts of our community, to rest alone, to contemplate the child who becomes the boy who becomes the man. A single day is simply not enough time to do all this. I just don’t understand the rush to get “back to normality”, the eagerness to restrict ourselves into that voluntary slavery of work.  When there are so few other opportunities to invest time in understanding ourselves, in building up our friendships and communities why not use this season of rest and celebration to its fulness.

Looking at the last 9 days statuses- as I’ll be posting this on the Tenth day of Christmas – I’ve shared a variety of encouragements, stories, been thankful, celebrated friendships and kindnesses, mourned my losses, considered my griefs, meditated on Love. And through all this I’ve kept going. Keeping going with Christmas is a work of a tenacious attitude. Ensuring Christmas stays alive for the whole twelve days is the spirit of “never giving up”.

You’ve probably gathered from a number of my posts that I put a great deal of store in dedication, loyalty and not letting go. The thing is, Jesus puts great store in that stuff too. Can you really imagine Jesus “Letting something or someone go”? NO! In fact he advocated the marriage of past and future (“I have not come to overthrow the old law but to fulfill it”). He saw the failings of the past, but instead of moving away from them, He built upon them (Think of the Rhythm and repetition of the Sermon on the Mount sayings – “The Law says…. but I say to you…). He simultaneously embraced those who were his disciples as his new family and also ensured his blood family were cared for, comforted and challenged. His last act as a Man was to make sure his mother was cared for and had someone to care for. He strongly advocated for Finishing the things you’ve started. (That part about telling that guy the dead will bury their own dead, isn’t about leaving your past behind, but is about not using your responsibilities as an excuse to start things but not finish them.) Tenacity is the overlooked Gift of the Spirit.

So my prayer and blessing for both myself and for you my friend is that you would go the distance this Christmas – live the full twelve days. In fact, carry that christmas spirit with you through January and February, the ebb and flow of rest and celebration, of meditation and community, of comfort and storytelling. And I pray that that which you start this year you go through to the end, that you return to things abandoned, that broken things are fixed, that your (and my) tenacity is rewarded with redemption, reconciliation and restoration. And Really live the eleventh and Twelfth days of Christmas! Blessings!!

Love never gives up. Love endures and is patient. Love keeps going to the end. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening.Love never fails – never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. (1Cor 4,7-8 Amplified Version, New Internation Version, The Message)