12 Days of Extra-Terrestrial Giving

December 27, 2015
 
A Sermon Series:
Love Shines Through & Peace Is Born

“The 12 Days of Extra-Terrestrial Giving”
By Rev. David Jadlocki


Well we all know how it begins.  On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me….a partridge in a pear tree.  But forget all the things you think you know about this song because this is no ordinary 12 days of Christmas.  This is the 12 Days of Extra—terrestrial giving.  And so were gonna shake it up.


​​​On this first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,  a sign of peace to hang high in my tree.
And so the first of our 12 “out of this world” gifts we give this Christmas season is to hang a sign of peace where all can see. Perhaps you make it your Facebook picture for the next 12 days, or maybe a sign that you put on your front lawn, a bumper sticker for your car, a business card that you hand out to everyone you meet proclaiming the truth that peace is possible when we fill our heart with love.  Let your imagination go wild….but whatever you do….make it clear…because...
This 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me a sign of peace for all to see.


​On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me 2 words of welcome.
We know that Christ came not just to the powerful and the elite, but to all people…the poor…the sick…the vulnerable and the lost.

This Christmas season how can you reach out beyond your ordinary circle of life, to offer a word of welcome to one in need?  Maybe you offer to pick up a friend for breakfast next Sunday and then bring them to church.  Perhaps you call up a neighbor that you don’t know so well and have them over for dinner this week; maybe you write a note to that person in your life that you have grown distant with - that one person who hurt you or who you have that tension with - and you say to them, “You are welcome in my heart, there is a place for you in my life.”  You will find a way that is right for you.  But what if this Christmas season we reached past our ordinary and did something extraordinary.  What if in these 12 days of Christmas we let this gift come to be because...
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me 2 words of welcome.


On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me 3 letters of love.
It is easy to get busy, hectic, even a bit crazy.  Trust me, I know.  But what if this Christmas Season we carved out a little bit of time to write 3 letters of love. Not just a greeting card,.but a real letter - an expression of our appreciation for the people closest to us in our life.  When is the last time you did that?  When is the last time that you put pen to paper and shared with the loves in your life just what they mean to you?  It is easy to assume that they already know, but when you share your thoughts and feelings freely and openly with those close to your heart it can make the world entirely better - even if it is only for a day.

So during these 12 days of extra-terrestrial giving, what if you gave the gift of your heart and shared a word of love with those you love the most because….
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me 3 letters of love.


On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 4 lights a burning. 
We all have those special people in our life who have changed us.  They might be spouses, parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, or friends...but we all have them.  For these 12 days of Christmas we challenge you to pick four people in your life who have changed you for the better and each night light a candle in celebration and remembrance of them.  When we honor those who have brought life and light into our world, we continue their story and the joy of living they have been for us. 

So this Christmas let us fill our hearts with joy and gratitude and let us remember some of those special people in our life, because…

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 4 lights a burning.  ​


On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 Christmas Prayers.
We may not have the power to perform miracles…or the capacity to transform lives….but we do have the gift of prayer.  Praying makes a difference.  Prayer can be powerful.  Prayer is a gift of hope, and act of love, a sign of care, and it is at the center of our faith.  This Christmas season, will you commit to 5 Christmas prayers per day?  5 moments throughout your day when you stop what you are doing, silence your mind and give your heart and voice to God.  Lifting up the pains and sorrows of this world and your life and offering them over to God is radical and it works!. 

In these 12 days of extra-terrestrial Christmas will you pray for peace, for healing, for hope, for comfort, and for care because….
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 Christmas Prayers.


​On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 Justice lessons…
It is no secret….there is an abundance of injustice in our world today.  From environmental degradation, to income inequality, to mass incarceration, to education reform.  There is no shortage of issues pressing upon us. 

This Christmas season we challenge you to pick 6 different social issues and spend some time learning about them.  Expanding our sphere of understanding and hearing the voices of those who are experiencing oppression is essential to deepening our faith and fostering an abiding relationship with God and those around us.  This may seem like a monstrous challenge, but it is a gift that you can give to yourself…a gift of learning…a gift of seeing…a gift of experiencing the world from another perspective.  And who knows, maybe, just maybe, you will be moved to act because...

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 justice lessons. Let’s learn them well!


Continued