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Read Psalm 148:11-13 and Psalm 34:1-10
 
The three days that follow Christmas Day are for me a holy gathering of time, a kind of bouquet of days within the Christian year. Historically, all three are "saints" days. That is, on each of them Christians for centuries have stopped to honor a particular hero of our faith; on the 26th, Saint Stephen; on the 27th, Saint John; and on the 28th, the Holy Innocents slaughtered by King Herod in his search for the Christ Child. And, historically, this the only week of the year in which three days of such major remembrance follow each other one after another. How appropriate that they should fall within, and give sweet perfume to this stilled time of waiting between God's birth and the new year's coming.
 
When I was a child, we always sang "Good King Wenceslas" on this day, my mother's hands played the keys on the piano and my father's deep voice boomed over ours. Good King Wenceslas going forth on the Feast of Stephen to perform acts of . . .

Read Psalm 148:11-13 and Psalm 34:1-10
 
The three days that follow Christmas Day are for me a holy gathering of time, a kind of bouquet of days within the Christian year. Historically, all three are "saints" days. That is, on each of them Christians for centuries have stopped to honor a particular hero of our faith; on the 26th, Saint Stephen; on the 27th, Saint John; and on the 28th, the Holy Innocents slaughtered by King Herod in his search for the Christ Child. And, historically, this the only week of the year in which three days of such major remembrance follow each other one after another. How appropriate that they should fall within, and give sweet perfume to this stilled time of waiting between God's birth and the new year's coming.
 
When I was a child, we always sang "Good King Wenceslas" on this day, my mother's hands played the keys on the piano and my father's deep voice boomed over ours. Good King Wenceslas going forth on the Feast of Stephen to perform acts of charity. But I was a small child and had no thought for charity or for the first martyred deacon of our faith. I scarcely had faith at that age. What I had instead was joy and more than I could hold. So I sang; and Stephen's day became for me that day which lay beyond being happy. It became a day of music which was sung as our psalm says, all the kings of the earth and all peoples, princes, rulers, young men, and maidens, all of necessity praise him whose splendor is over all.
 
Apostles, prophets, martyrs,
And all the noble throng
Who wear the spotless raiment
And raise the ceaseless song-
For these, passed on before us,
We offer praises due
And, walking in their footsteps,
Would live our lives for you.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Let us praise the Father, and worship God the Son, and sing to God the Spirit, Eternal Three in One. 

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