The 12 Days of Christmas

As I write this, we are now nearing the end of the Advent season; our time of waiting and anticipation for the revelation of Christ gives way to rejoicing and celebration at his arrival.

Celebration!  That’s what the 12 Days of Christmas are all about.

So, no, the 12 Days of Christmas are not the 12 days leading up to Christmas.  They are not a 12 day countdown. Instead, just like how in the Old Testament there were these massive, week-long festivals celebrating God’s acts of salvation (cf. Ex. 13:6, Lev. 23:39-41), so now we set aside not just 7 days but a full 12 days to rejoice at the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.  Why 12 days? Throughout the scriptures, the number 12 is representative of all God’s people (12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, etc.). Thus, once Christmas Day arrives, all of God’s people feast and celebrate the revealing of our Saviour (yes, Christmas Day is the first day of Christmas).

I hope many of you have been able to make use of the Advent readings I have assembled. Below you will see scripture readings that you can use for the 12 Days of Christmas. Some of these scriptures simply continue on with the birth and childhood narratives of Jesus. The other scriptures have been specifically chosen because they speak to the unique identity and purpose of Jesus as the Messiah.

Most of these are rather short passages, designed to be easily read by a family with young children. If these passages are ‘too short’ for your own devotional reading, feel free to expand them, or slow down your reading. Don’t simply read in order to absorb the content. Let the scriptures guide your prayers and meditations as we ponder, worship, and celebrate the astounding incarnation of our God.


Daily Bible Readings
For the 12 Days & Epiphany

Christmas, Day 1 (Dec. 25)
Luke 2:1-20

Day 2 (Dec. 26)
John 1:1-5

Day 3 (Dec. 27)
John 1:9-14

Day 4 (Dec. 28)
Luke 2:21-35

Day 5 (Dec. 29)
Luke 2:36-40

Day 6 (Dec. 30)
Matthew 2:1-12

Day 7 (Dec. 31)
Matthew 2:13-18

Day 8 (Jan. 1)
Matthew 2:19-23

Day 9 (Jan. 2)
Luke 2:41-52

Day 10 (Jan. 3)
1 John 4:7-16

Day 11 (Jan. 4)
Colossians 1:13-20

Day 12 (Jan. 5)
Philippians 2:5-11

Epiphany (Jan. 6)
Isaiah 60:1-6