The second day of Christmas is also known as St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day. In Britain people give gifts and privileges to their servants. Some American families try to mark this day by leaving small presents for mail carriers, newspaper deliverers, and even those who carry off the garbage. The Beatles’ movie Magical Mystery Tour was first shown on television on Boxing Day in 1967.
The festival of St. Stephen reminds Christians that not all things in this world are merry and bright. We are still surrounded by sin, and Christ’s love for us makes us targets for those who hate Christ. Stephen testified to Jesus and his central place in God’s plan for the world. As a result, Stephen was stoned to death by the same authorities who had earlier condemned Jesus and handed him over to the Roman authorities, demanding his execution.
The martyrdom of Stephen is a sobering memory during the twelve days of Christmas. Yet Stephen is celebrated as one of those who is with Jesus, in the Father’s hands, in Paradise. Stephen died confident of the power of the Lord and confident in the promised resurrection. When Christ is seen in glory, Stephen will be with him, and he will live with Christ and all His people in a new and perfect world. Jesus has conquered death, and death cannot prevail against His people. May that good news enlighten your continuing celebration of Christmas. J.