Across the Pastor’s Desk: The real 12 days of Christmas

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Jennifer Gonsalves

Jennifer Gonsalves


Merry Christmas! Yes, you read this right. Merry Christmas! Contrary to popular belief, the 12 days of Christmas are not the 12 before Dec. 25, but rather the season of Christmas begins on Dec. 25 and lasts until Jan. 5 — also known as Twelfth Night. So go ahead and leave your tree up and our lights on, because it is still Christmas.

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Celebrating Christmas days after the rest of the world has stopped can feel weird, yet now that the business of the season is over — the presents have been exchanged, the meals have been cooked, travels are over — we have time to stop and ponder and reflect on the meaning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ — God with us.

Jesus comes and the world changes. We have hope and love and promise of peace on Earth.

And the further we get from Christmas, the harder it can be to hold on to hope and love and peace when we live in a world where despair and hate and war surround us. Yet, every Christmas we hear the familiar story and we hear again that God loves us and that Jesus came to be God with us. We hear again that Jesus came to save us and that Jesus came to bring peace on Earth. And every time we hear the good news of Christmas proclaimed we feel the hope of Christmas again.

So I invite you to linger in Christmas this year, to leave your tree up, to keep singing the carols, and to reread the story again and again. Bring the hope and the joy of Christmas with you into January and beyond. For the good news of Christmas is news that reminds us of just how much we are loved all year long.

Jennifer Gonsalves is an associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.