TWELVETIDE
The historic Christian Church has counted the days of Christmas from Christmas Day up to the day of Epiphany, January 6th.   If you count on your calendar from Christmas Day through January 5th, you have the 12 days of Christmas also known as “Twelvetide”.      For us as Christians, the Christmas season does not end on December 25th and then back to “business as usual.”     One of the most important festivals occurs on the eighth day of “Twelvetide.”     This is January 1st and on this day the historic Christian Church concentrates on the Circumcision and Naming of our Savior and what this means for us.    Luke 2: 21 specifically notes that Jesus was brought to the Temple on the eighth day for His circumcision.
This is the festival we celebrated this last Sunday.   In this festival, we are also reminded of St. Paul’s words in Colossians 2: 11 -12 that “In Him you also were circumcised…by the circumcision of Christ since you were buried with Him in Baptism.”      Here Paul has us understand that Baptism has replaced circumcision as God’s testament with His people.     This is one of the reasons many churches historically have an eight sided baptismal font to remind us of what the circumcision of Christ means for us.
This coming Thursday, the 12 days of Christmas end as the Epiphany season begins with the celebration of the Epiphany (showing forth) of our Lord.    Historically, this begins with the appearance of the Wise Men (Magoi) at the home of the baby Jesus which occurred not at the manger scene but up to 2 years after our Savior was born.      This event also includes the commemoration of the “Holy Innocents” who lost their lives due to the rage of Herod “the Great.”
Come with us this Sunday as we join the Wise Men through Word and Sacrament giving praise to God for sending the Savior for Gentile sinners like us.