Some of you may be asking “What is Boxing Day?” Actually it is the same as St. Stephen’s Day, in honor of Stephen the first martyr of the Christian faith. This morning we read his story in Acts 6, 7, & 8.
Stephen was killed because of his convictions about the revelation of Christ in the world. Indeed, according to the Book of Acts, he was the very first martyr of the Christian faith. For centuries, Christians have remembered his faithfulness on the day after Christmas, December 26. It is a day for selfless care for the needy, the despised, and the unloved
Today is also commemorated as an official holiday in Britain (and Canada as my middle daughter told me one year) as Boxing Day. When my kids were young, they thought this was a celebration of those who box as a sport. They were surprised at the true meaning of Boxing Day.
On this day, churches are “boxing” up food to be delivered to the needy, and in days gone by were given to servants from their employers. The spirit of Wenceslas is demonstrated so that the entire community may celebrate with joy the manifestation of the Good News.
If you don’t know about King Wenceslas’ generous spirit to his people, take time today and read his story. You can start by reading or singing the song about him. You’ll notice the setting is St Stephen’s Day.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep & crisp & even;
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gathering winter fuel.