This year I'm observing the 12 Days of Christmas, the days between Christmas and Epiphany. The feast days of the 12 Days of Christmas were celebrated on the first three days. If you are just catching up, you can see how we observed them here.
For the next several days we continue with our reflections from "When the Time Was Fulfilled" a little gem of a book of Christmas meditations that was gifted to me by the Bruderhof Community at a Christian Community Development Association conference. I have chosen some passages that particularly stood out to me this year.
The Fourth Day of Christmas- December 29
Reflection from "When the Time Was Fulfilled"
"Christmas did not come after a great hoard of people had completed something good, or because of the successful result of any human effort. No, it came as a miracle, as the child that comes when his time if fulfilled, as a gift of the Father which he lays into those arms that are stretched out in longing. This is how the first Christmas came; in this way it always comes anew, both to us as individuals and to the whole world...
...our efforts always belong to God's work, even when it is only to keep the manger prepared in which the Child wants to lie. Our deeds count, even when like Simeon we only stretch out our arms in patience and faith and in loyal endurance so that we may receive the holy gift. Even when we only wait, poor and yearning in the darkness, in fervent longing- we are ready and may help to bring about the fullness of time.
The miracle of God comes not only from above. It also comes through us; it is also dwelling in us. It has been given to every person, and it lies within each one of us as something divine, and it waits. Calling to us, it waits for the hour when we shall open wide our hearts, having found our God and our home. When this is so, we will not hoard this miracle but will let it flow out into the world.
Wherever love proceeds from us and becomes truth, the time is fulfilled and Christmas comes." - Eberhard Arnold