There are many traditions for the twelfth day of Christmas with its twelve drummers drumming. You can read all about them here: https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml
One aspect that is highlighted in many of the traditions for twelfth night has to do with turning things a bit upside down by allowing the “lowly” to “rule over” the higher class citizens for the night. This intrigued me because of how it gave witness to Jesus leaving His Father’s world to come to Earth to be with us, to serve as our servant leader, to die that we might have life. It all comes back to Jesus, and Epiphany is no different.
January 6, today, is Epiphany. I wanted to explain this better here, but my words would be weak compared to the following reading I received in my email today. So, I will close my focus on the Twelve Days of Christmas with the following in hopes that it will impact you in the way it has me. I’ve been pondering the Light celebrated on Epiphany in new ways for the last year, and now, I pray the same may be true for you. May we be reminded anew and transformed as we seek more Light and Life and Truth in our lives, as we seek the Christ who came for ALL people, and may we all experience more JOY as a result of our seeking…..For God has said that “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)….may we find more and more and more of Him.
05 Jan 2018
THE MAGI COME ASKING, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” Tradition has it that there were three Magi, probably because the Bible account names three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). The names used for these Magi are Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, and tradition also says that they are of three different ethnic groups, signifying that Christ comes not just for one nation but for all people. In fact, that is what we celebrate in January at Epiphany: Jesus Christ as the Light of the world. We celebrate Christ as Light to the whole world, not as the Light to one small group in the world.
Many Christians mark Epiphany in only cursory ways, as if everything about Christmas ends at midnight on December 25. We do seem in a hurry sometimes to put away Christmas. … Most of us stop playing Christmas music, too, as if the songs are inappropriate at any other time of the year. …
Commentators have said we seem in a hurry after Christmas to box up once again our patience, our tolerance, our generosity and put them back in the attic, as if we can sustain good behavior for a few weeks but wouldn’t want to risk making it a way of life. We may also put away our willingness to give a bit more, to be more forgiving, even to be more patient in traffic as we often are during the holidays. Perhaps we even box up our desires to hope and our openness to miracles and mystery, as if the messages of the Christmas stories can’t quite survive the rigors of real life in the rest of the year. The Magi call us to continue our observance of Christ’s coming after December is over.
– Mary Lou Redding
WHILE WE WAIT: Living the Questions of Advent
From pages 93-94 of WHILE WE WAIT: Living the Questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright (c) 2002 by Mary Lou Redding. Used with permission of The Upper Room. All Rights Reserved. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.