I'm going to do a series of short posts on each of the twelve days of Christmas.
There are two reasons for this. The lesser is to sustain the Christmas season the way it was meant to be done, up to Epiphany. Unfortunately, we are too exhausted to do this, after a month of Christmas rush. We might be more ready for a 12 day celebration starting December 25 after month of a preparatory (maybe even penitential?) Advent season.
The second (non-holiday related) reason is that it is simply good to reflect on the good gifts God has showered upon us.
We have a song we use in our house, to do what some think the song did: refer to gifts God has given us.
So, everybody now (deep breath)...
On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - Jesus Christ our Savior, baby!
The greatest gift the world has received is God giving Himself to us. John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
God is our true love, the one who truly loves us. God gave us Jesus, by His sheer grace. We didn't deserve to have God condescend to us, but He promised to do so (Isaiah 7:14), and so He did it. Because He loves us.
This was the first day, so to speak, of a new era. A kingdom of grace ushered in. He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John, because he only announced this king, this change, he did not live in His light. His light grows greater each passing year, like the length of sunlight each day grows greater from the first day of winter on into summer.
The angels told the shepherds this over the hills of Bethlehem. He is the Messiah, the one God has appointed to deliver His people!
While Herod and most expected a powerful man whom Israel could rally behind, God sent a vulnerable baby to live, suffer and die for them.
Gabriel told Joseph right from the beginning that Jesus would save His people from their sins. This is why God named Him Jesus, which means "salvation."