Dave Brisbin 12.27.20
It’s the Third Day of Christmas. What does that mean? Three French hens immediately comes to mind from the song. But what are the Twelve Days of Christmas for that matter? The ancient liturgies of Christianity dating back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years have created a yearly cycle of seasons and celebrations that have defined and bonded communities through their common cultural festivals and traditions. We have lost a common liturgical language and practice in the modern West. Strike one, because liturgy is the way a people respond and participate in public and communal worship, and there’s no less need for that now than ever.

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Strike two is that our culture celebrates the extremes: the biggest, fastest, youngest, first, last, most spectacular or most spectacular failure. Whatever is between those extremes is flyover country, like Kansas or Nebraska—something only on the way to something else, something important. This is the Third Day of Christmas. Like a middle child, not the first or the baby. What value can it possibly represent? Avoiding strike three is figuring out how the third day is just as sacred as the first or last or any other, and is the task of anyone who really wants to follow Jesus. Learning to love and value the consistency of showing up every day, day in and out, just as presently and energetically as if it were the only day is what constitutes the anawim heart. The heart of one who has learned to live humbly: in the vulnerability, dependence, and gratitude of one who fully relies on God’s presence and provision. Every day.

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