The gifts are unwrapped and the mess is cleaned up from a day of family and wonderful meals and happy times in many households. This is the beginning of the twelve days of Christmas. The real deal is a build up to Epiphany which commemorates the arrival of the Wise Men or Magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12).
We need wise men these days to show us the way.
We are reminded that many in this world live a life not much different than the hardscrabble lives that existed in the time of Jesus. So we are grateful for our blessings of a warmer shelter than that stable. We have little use today for frankincense or myrrh but we know a bright star in the East when we see one and it still means the same arrival of a great joy today just as it did more than 2000 years ago. And so we give thanks for the birth of a savior into a world in need of saving.
In our prayers tonight we ask for sustenance and hope for those cold and hungry. We pray that every child born this day will feel the warm embrace of his mother as a holy gift from God. And we pray that the fathers of each child will know peace and safety and a sense of belonging that comes from the same true faith of Joseph.
Joy to the World! The Lord is come!