Bible Verse: Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13–14, NLT
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-20; Isaiah 58:6-8
Boxing Day is a public holiday in Commonwealth countries, including Canada. It is not the day we break down all the empty boxes from the day before. It is not a day for fisticuffs – unless you’re watching hockey. It’s not just another flyer-filled designated day for sales. The exact British origin of Boxing Day is uncertain, but there are two theories, both with a common theme.
First, it’s possible that it was known as the day when wealthy aristocrats distributed Christmas “boxes” containing small gifts, money, or food leftovers from their festive dinner to their servants and employees, who were required to work on Christmas Day, in recognition of their service. Today, we might call it a Christmas bonus.
The second theory comes from churches that used alms boxes during the Christmas season to collect donations from their congregants for the poor of their communities. Those gifts would be distributed to those in need on December 26, also known as the feast of St. Stephen. If you remember his story, he was known for his ministry to the poor (Acts 6:1-7) and was the first church martyr (Acts 7:54-60).
The message to the lowly shepherds in the fields held a promise: “…peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” By the world’s standards, they were not high in importance, but in God’s eyes, they were worthy recipients of His grace and presence.
The Christmas season’s favor and peace are available to all, regardless of wealth, background, status, or nationality. The “good news of great joy” was for “all people.” That’s good news for you, me, and the marginalized and needy in our communities. The promise of peace is for everyone everywhere. Let this Boxing Day remind us of the peace we have received and can give, especially to those who need it most.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the peace that is for all people. I pray today for those in our communities who are alone and underprivileged and need Your peace. Amen.
Reflection: Who do I know that needs the peace of Christ today? How can I spread the peace of Christ today to someone in need?
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