Illuminating the 12 Days of Christmas- Third Day of Christmas

Today, on the third day of Christmas, we continue our journey of actively living out the Incarnation, following a God who put on human flesh and dwelt among us.

The Third Day of Christmas- December 28

The Feast of Holy Innocents- On this day we remember the children who were killed by Herod in his rampage against the baby King. Edwin and Jennifer Woodruff Tait express the purpose of this day:

"In them we see the long agony of those who suffer and die through human injustice, never knowing that they have been redeemed. If Christ did not come for them too, then surely Christ came in vain. In celebrating the Holy Innocents, we remember the victims of abortion, of war, of abuse. We renew our faith that the coming of Christ brings hope to the most hopeless. And, in the most radical way possible, we confess that like the murdered children we are saved by the sheer mercy of Christ, not by our own doing or knowing."

Reflection from "When the Time Was Fulfilled"

"The expectation of God's future is as all embracing as it is unshakably certain; it cannot be a passive waiting, a cozy and soft occupation with self and with one's small circle of like-minded friends. No, this expectation is divine power- a uniting with the powers of the future that are present here and now. This is our hope: the assurance that the social justice of the future is effective now wherever Jesus himself holds sway.

The Lord is the Spirit, and the Spirit frees us from oppression of all kinds. The spirit of expectation is the spirit of action because it is the spirit of faith. Faith is bravery. Faith is reality. He who has faith cannot believe that anything is impossible, since faith is what gives us the clear vision of life's ultimate powers. It discloses God's heart to us as the pulse of the entire living creation, and it gives us the conviction that the secret of life is love.

Anyone who lives in this love can never exhaust himself in psychological introspection or in narrow conventionality. He is concerned about the events of present history; he shares in all movements that in any way express the longing for the kingdom of the future. A person who is gripped by the experiences of faith and of love, by the expectation of Christ and his second coming , must act. For God's love is so boundless that it applies to public life just as much as to the individual heart..."  - Eberhard Arnold

Practice of Remembrance

Today is heavy as we remember child victims of evil in our world. Unfortunately the examples are many. This year millions of children fled wars and violence. The image of the boy from Aleppo comes to mind for me.  The words of a father in El Salvador ring in my ear, "Pray for us.  We had to send our 10 year old son away to protect him from being recruited by the gangs." The knowledge that children toil in slavery and abuse both in our communities and around the world is overwhelming.

Today we remember these children and take steps, however small, to stand against evil with love.

On the third day of Christmas, I commit to 3 actions:

  • I will give a financial gift to Preemptive Love Coalition  on organization on the ground in Syria, providing for children and their families escaping the bombing in Aleppo.
  • I will visit my friend who suffered abuse as a child and as a result battles severe mental illness
  • I will recommit to buying ethically sourced clothes, seeking to avoid the perpetuation of child labor

How can you stand with child victims of violence in our world today?