November 26, 2020

The Fifth Day of Christmas

Readings for the Day

Isaiah 49:5-15
Psalm 148
Matthew 12:46-50


Collect for the Day

O God, who makest us glad by the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


Poem for the Fifth Day of Christmas

and what was this day like?
day five.
i have had four of them —
four of those days when you have lost count
because you can’t get one damn hour’s sleep.
your head is fuzzy and foggy and bleary and blurred,
your world constricted to an unruly sea of blankets, sheets, and pillows
with a firmament of shadowy ceiling above,
and this wall then that wall as you pace back and forth
trying to calm the wailing one.
and now his diaper needs to be changed, so let’s do that
and mom cries for no reason and because her nipples hurt
and i, dad, feel numb and helpless and almost walk out a couple of times.
friends bring a meal or two and coo over the baby
and you love them and you wish they would just go home
because this is the first time the little bugger has slept
since you can remember and oh how delightful it would be to just close your eyes…

i’ve never heard a minister preach about the fifth day of christmas.
maybe this is why.
maybe it is too human for us to bear.
like a three a.m. feeding
like “he needs changing again?”
like the smell of sleepy soft debris where
a woman groaned and pushed until she gave birth
and now two exhausted people stare at the dancing shadows
and dread the sound of the slightest squeak
coming from the crib beside them.


  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    I read the very wordy tomes that contributed to yesterday’s post and comments.
    For those of us who are of sound mind these theories and discussions are commendable.
    There are those for whom such is a foreign language or undecipherable.
    Fr. Ben took Holy Communion to my husband and me today at the nursing home. He also anointed my husband with Holy Oil. He prayed for John with sincerity.
    He blessed us both.
    Left my husband with a children’s coloured booklet of the life of Jesus. Also a pew sheet from last Sunday with carols printed in it.

    My husband said thank you to the Priest as he left and shook his hand. These were his only words.
    On the Priest’s departure we went into the courtyard and I read or shall I say paraphrased the storybook. My husband turned the pages. The story was from the visit of the angel to Mary to Christ’s resurrection.
    I sang some Christmas Carols to my husband and he listened and smiled.

    I can say no more, my tears flow.
    Something about, unless we become as little children………..


    • Suffer the little
      children, and forbid them not,
      to come unto me:

      for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14

    • Susan, inadequate words from me but I think God is showing his love and care for your husband though you.. God will give you the strength to get though this and your faith is strong and real by your thoughts and actions. The same God that loved and cared for your husband when he was in robust physical and mental status is with him now. It is a corny but true statement you walk the walk not do just the talk , in sickness and in health. God Bless you as he has with your deep real faith. Your husband may lose many things in this world but he will not lose the God’s love or mercy. I feel for you and only can say God Bless. Many illness are tougher on the family than the afflicted one it seems to me.

    • Sending hug, Susan. God Bless!

  2. Ronald Avra says

    I habitually read the Bible on a daily basis, but my routine is not tied to any particular regimen other than my inclination of the moment. I suppose that if I wish to share some small piece of daily experience in common with the broader church, the reading of the lectionary make sense. Where I am, it is about to be the coldest that we have seen this fall/winter, 2017-18. If you are north of the Louisiana coast, stay warm, drink a hot beverage, get lost in a book. I’m off to do that now.

    • Indeed, we have some American iMonkers who are about to be blasted with some dang frigid temps.