Kingdom come is coming, in small yet invasive ways...

Follow along with us as each week we meet for service to those in our neighborhood, common meals, study of Jesus' teachings and how to live them, as well as Sabbath worship at the Buffalo Vineyard City Church .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas

With New Year's weekend now behind us, many homes have already packed up all the Christmas decorations, and the fickle focus of our commercial culture has moved on to what's next (who's seen Valentine's gifts being marketed already?).

However, at our home we're still celebrating the Christmas season.

A few years ago, as kids were added to our family, Jess and I had a burning desire to pass on to our children a Christmas tradition that differed from the materialistic tradition we were all too familiar with.

Often attempts to escape this kind of Christmas culture can lead to a lot of negativism. We all had that kid in our class that spoiled Santa for everyone because her parents didn't buy into all that. But Christmas is a time to truly celebrate. So how do we take a step away from all the commercialism, but still find a way to celebrate?

Well, looking back into church history we discovered the tradition of the "Twelve Days of Christmas". These twelve days begin on Christmas Day and extend to the Christian holiday of Epiphany, on January 6. Epiphany is a celebration of light, mainly Jesus being revealed as the light of world; the one who illuminates the way to a life that is truly life.

"In him was life, and that life was the light of all humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

So our Christmas tradition consists of a nearly two week celebration of how in Jesus, the light has come. God's hope, peace, joy, and love have invaded this broken and hurting world. Each day we light a candle and read from the Scriptures. As a family we take time to reflect on what these words and stories really mean. How is Jesus coming into our personal brokenness and the hurting world around us? How is His light confronting this darkness and providing the hope we need to resist being overcome by it?

We also share simple gifts each day. Instead of going into debt to provide a mountain of presents under the tree on Christmas morning, for twelve days we give presence: a date night out with my wife, bringing goodies and singing songs at a local nursing home, building snowmen and sharing hot cocoa with the kids.

We still have celebrations with our extend families, where there are mountains of presents, and gifts marked, "From: Santa" for the kids. And that's OK. Rather than focus on what Christmas isn't, we have found there is so much to Christmas that it couldn't possibly fit into just one day.

So for a few days more, continue the Christmas celebration, and may we all see that the Light has come!


  1. Great stuff! Your family inspires me! Especially your spit fire wife! Love you guys~

  2. I have been so proud to see this lived out in the life of your family. Continue to seek His heart. Continue to follow His light. Continue to lead your family into His presence.