The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Fourth Day
Reflecting on The First Sunday after Christmas Day: Two Days After Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Psalm 148
Old Testament: Isaiah 54:1-13
Epistle: Revelation 21:1-7
Mighty God, in whom we know the power of redemption, you stand among us in the shadows of our time. As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life, uphold us with knowledge of the final morning when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son, we will share in his resurrection, redeemed and restored to the fullness of life and forever freed to be your people. Amen.
December 28th is the Fourth Day of Christmas. The four calling birds signify the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Fourth Day is also the feast day of the Holy Innocents remembering Matthew’s story of Herod’s slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem in his attempt to destroy Jesus.
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more’ (Matthew 2:13-18).
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