To be totally honest with you…
I had never heard anyone refer to Boxing Day until I met some Canadians several decades ago! It’s the Second Day of Christmas when many would give a “Christmas Box” to those who have provided service to the family or business. It began in Britain as early as the 1700’s and more formalized in the 1800’s. Other countries followed the example so it’s bigger in some places and unheard of in others.
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas. (Source)
Additionally, this day is also known traditionally St. Stephen’s Day. You may know him as the first Martyr of the early church as found referenced in Acts 6-8, 11, 22. He was one of the seven original men chosen by the twelve disciples to handle the distribution of food to the widows, as was the custom of the Jews back in those days. Stephen and six others were chosen so the original disciples cold focus on the revival of the day:
And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. (Acts 6:5-6 NKJV)
It makes me wonder where this ministry is today. Stephen, never mentioned prior to this day, was also a man full of the Spirit of God and did “great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8) and eventually he was stoned – the first martyred death of the burgeoning church. Who watched over the stoning and kept the coats of the men who were busy stoning him?
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Acts 7:57-58 NKJV)
Saul. Soon to be called Paul. A tyrant against the same church would become the greatest missionary of the same Jesus that we celebrate this Boxing Day.
Think about it… A good act draws out a bad response… A bad view of the church draws out the good missionary response. The flip-flop of one causes action to flip-flop the other into a greater future benefit for the church through today. I’ve said this in other ways over the years, but remember, your faithfulness in God (even with all the negative actions that surround it) has a greater purpose that we will never be able to understand until the future arrives…
The wisest man wrote a book called Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher and you can find it in the bible following the Psalms and Proverbs. Take sometime and read all of Chapter 3, but let me extract a few verses to consider…
1: To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
9: What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
16: Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there.
22: So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
Summation? Your calling has a purpose, your work is here for a season. Your profit is not in the longevity of life living out your purpose, but knowing you should rejoice in your work while you have it to do…not worrying about how it will survive after you.
So… On this Boxing Day, continue your traditions as you have known them to be, but remember why you are here and continue your ministry and calling to far greater things as long as you have the breath to do them…
This day in History?
- 1492 – 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in the New World is founded by Columbus
- 1471 – Johannes Kepler is born. (Fascinating Study!)
- 1620 – Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory’s crimes and serial murders are uncovered. She is said to be the most prolific female serial killer in History guilty of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls.
- 1620 – The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, MA, to found Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.
- 1791 – Charles Babbage is born (you should really research this man!)
- 1820 – Moses Austin asks Spanish for Texas colony. He dies before he successfully plants the colony and his son, Stephen Fuller Austin, completes the transition and the 25,000 that eventually settled here broke from Mexico to form the independent Republic of Texas in 1836… (Look what 16 years of hard work can do!)
- 1822 – Louis Pasteur is born.
- 1865 – The coffee percolator was patented by James H Mason
- 1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium.
- 1908 – Texan boxer “Galveston Jack” Johnson knocked out Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia, to become the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight title.
- 1941 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed a resolution that set the a fixed-date, the fourth Thursday of November, for the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.
- 1972 – Harry Truman Dies – the year I graduated out of High School and met my future bride!
- 1974 – Comedian Jack Benny died at age 80 (Wait… 29? Or 39?) – the year I married my bride!
- 1982 – The Man of the Year in “TIME” magazine was a computer. It was the first time a non-human received the honors.
- 1991 – The Soviet Union’s parliament formally voted the country out of existence.
- 2002 – The first cloned human baby was born. The announcement was made the December 27 by Clonaid.
- 2004 – 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people
- 2006 – Gerald Ford Dies
On to my Facebook postings on this date…
- 2015 – “Faith in God includes faith in His timing.” ~Anonymous Every time life seems murky I simply keep walking by faith, not sight, and trusting His guidance. That means trusting His timing
- 2015 – Ever felt everyone thought “they” were more important than “you”? Gets tiring managing their egos doesn’t it?
- 2015 – “The Day After“
- 2014 – “Over Extended“
- 2013 – An updated blog, and a personal favorite, “The Journey is the Destination“
- 2012 – “Recap“
- 2012 – So… Christmas is over and life continues on. We had a nice and quiet day at home. No phone calls. No important emails. A video from JFE (Jason, Felicia, Emma) capped off the evening. Hope all feel blessed and ready to tackle the new year!
And a scripture to close…
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26 NKJV)