The Eleventh Day of Christmas and almost the end of the Christmas season. If there’s one thing we’ve seen throughout Advent up through the Eleventh Day of Christmas is that nothing, absolutely nothing goes as expected. Every time we think that everything is going back to normal in the story, there’s a twist and our expectations of everything social, economic, political, and religious is upended.
And that was God’s plan all along.
If you look back over this journey we’ve taken through Advent and Christmas, we see God mixing it up time and time again.
We began Advent: Advent is a time of waiting for God to show up and wondering what God is going to do. But it’s not just waiting and wondering on our side about what God is going to do. God is waiting and wondering too. God is waiting on us and wondering what we’re going to do.
We met John the Baptizer, who could have easily been voted least likely to succeed at Nazareth High. In fact, he’s beginning to wonder if he missed it about Jesus. He was waiting for the Messiah and had even preached all about him. John was expecting someone who was going to be to a little more kingly, a political ruler setting people free from oppression and all that. Instead, he’s his cousin Jesus socializing as one of Jerusalem’s most popular dinner guests, healing people and talking about the poor and meek being blessed.
On Christmas we were challenged to reinterpret Christmas: The Word becoming a human being – being born of flesh and blood to participate in life, to experience struggles, and the events of daily life – to give us an awareness of a life full of grace and truth.
Because of Jesus our lives can be reinterpreted. Because God has come to us in this way, we can reinterpret our pasts and move toward a life lived in the light of truth and grace rather than a life overshadowed by the darkness of our painful memories and experiences. This is the promise behind this amazing birth.
We can reinterpret, rework, rewrite, experience rebirth of our own lives. The light of Christ shines into our darkness. And the darkness did not, does not, and will not overcome it. Ever.
We’re getting ready to move into a whole new season – Epiphany. If God is anything like God has been so far on our journey, we can be certain that the adventure will continue. No doubt, we’re in for some surprises of our own.
This might be a good time to reflect back on your Advent and Christmastide experience. A lot has happened between the beginning of Advent and the Eleventh Day of Christmas. Maybe looking over a few of the posts during this time will jog your memory. I encourage you to write down anything that jumps out and surprises you.
Waiting and wondering in Advent. Light in our darkness in Christmas. The new year stretching before me. On this Eleventh Day of Christmas, may I remain alert to what’s next. Amen.