I love learning about the Church Calendar and how it points us to Christ. I discovered that the Twelve Days of Christmas are part of the Church Calendar. It is the twelve day festival, starting on December 25 and ending on January 5. This is known as the season of Christmas that follows Advent and precedes Epiphany which starts on January 6. Both Christmas Day (December 25) and Epiphany (January 6) are permanent Feast Days—meaning they are always celebrated on the same dates no matter whether it is a certain day of the week—and they do not change depending on cycle of the moon as some Feast days, including Easter.
I love taking these twelve days to focus my heart on taking a spiritual inventory. Its perfect timing for me since my birthday occurs on the third day of Christmas. It also gives me permission to leave up my Christmas decorations and Christmas lights until January 6. It’s a great time for reflection since New Year’s Day occurs on the Eighth Day of Christmas. During this in between time after Christmas is over, I encourage you to think about the way you lived the past year and prayerfully consider where God may be calling you for the one just ahead.
Some thoughts for reflection:
- What has been the worst event of the past year?
- What have been the joys of the previous year?
- What have you learned about God and how have you grown though them?
- What are your concerns for the upcoming year?
- What is God calling you to do?
Ephesians 2:10 says:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The year ahead has been thought about by God. He has prepared in advance for every challenge, joy, loss, and gain that we have yet to experience. For us, it is a mystery yet to be lived. For God, it is a handmade offering to help us know and love Him better. We will miss out if we do not take time to reflect with His leading.
Another idea is to ask God to show you a theme word and a theme verse for the year ahead. I am always amazed that He singles something out for me. I am never prepared for how that theme is lived out in the coming year, but the word is always right for what is ahead.
It’s the fifth day of Christmas and you have seven more until Epiphany. In between you will experience the turning over of the calendar to a whole new year. It’s not too late to breathe in the season of Christmas and let it be totally spiritual, joyful, reflective and setting yourself up for a truly meaningful year ahead.