The Twelve Days of Christmas is a popular carol in the U.S. The growing list of things that “my true love gave to me” in the song is our main link to the meaning of Epiphany, traditionally the day that the Three Kings or Three Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem, bearing gifts to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Our friends in other lands make a much bigger deal over this 12th day of the Christmas season. To them, the seeking nature of those three visitors is the surest sign that they are wise. Even here in English-speaking countries, we can’t help noticing that epiphany means a sudden insight or revelation about the true meaning of a thing. Part of the meaning of the word itself is that epiphanies are often prompted by some ordinary or commonplace event. Something about an everyday occurrence brings an unexpected enlightenment – epiphany.
The Freshness of Giving and Receiving
This Christmas at The Church Mouse, we see more than ever the wisdom behind the giving and receiving that goes on here. Nice folks bring the fine things they no longer need; they donate them for us to sell, and we – in turn – use those proceeds to help fund more than 50 charities and ministries here in the Lowcountry and abroad. The Church Mouse offers a concise, easy-to-see instance of the larger wisdom in giving and receiving. We give because we receive, we receive because we give, and the reason is that we live in the same creation.
Because of this cycle, the merchandise at The Church Mouse changes constantly. The impulse to donate things to The Church Mouse involves recognizing that what once was part of your life can carry on doing good, even when you no longer need it. The good things that arise from that impulse grow and grow, Volunteers accept and sort and arrange these treasures, giving of their time and talents. Shoppers enjoy the search, exploring The Church Mouse for yet another “find.”
What Does Endure
What does remain the same is the willingness of donors to keep an eye out for something that might do some good here. Overall, the impression that arises as we look things over is that these items were once selected carefully to take part in a person’s life, or a family’s home, or a long-desired vacation getaway. They were gently loved, and they will be loved again.
Even after the moments of enjoyment have been relished, the finds have made their way to new homes, and the support has been distributed to the selected charitable endeavors – who must apply and pass review every year – there is still something important left to savor.
At Christmas time especially, and always in fact, we hope that the whole Church Mouse family – donors, shoppers, volunteers, and charitable causes – continue knowing they have taken part in the flow of divine love – the good wishes of the community are given substance here and brought to life. With gratitude, we wish you a blessed Christmas.