Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

As we get closer and closer to Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus, I have noticed that I am going along with society by singing the same old catchy tunes and by wishing strangers a Merry Christmas because that's what we say during this time of year.

Although  I have found myself purposefully saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, it makes me sad that I have found myself stuck in the Christmas rut. One week to go and Santa is not finished...

Instead of focusing on what I haven't done, I decided to study this morning for the lesson tomorrow and found myself disappointed in the scripture selected for the week. My partner in class, Kelly, suggested earlier this week that we talk about the significance of the 12 Days of Christmas....Huh? Since the scripture is not related to the birth of Christ, I called her and we decided to talk about why we are excited about this time of year.

I have found this very interesting and have never heard it - so I felt like sharing.....

The 12 Days of Christmas

The "claim" is that this song was created by Catholics living in England after the Anglican Revolution. I don't know about that - nor do I care to really study any more on the subject (Snopes says no). I will just line out what I found for your reading enjoyment....

"True Love": refers to God Himself
"Me": every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith

Importance: Christians can celebrate their rich heritage, and God's grace, through this song during Christmas. Hearing this sone will remind us in one more way of the grace of God working in transforming ways in our lives and in our world.

First Day:  A Partrige in a Pear Tree
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25th, the "First Day of Christmas". (Luke 13:34)

Second Day:  Two Turtle Doves
The Old Testament and the New Testament, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the Creation of a people to tell the story of God to the world.

Third Day:  Three French Hens 
Three theological Virtues:  Faith, Hope, and Love  (1 Corinthians 3:13)

Fourth Day:  Four Calling Birds
The Four gospels:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to himself in Jesus Christ.

Fifth Day:   Five Golden Rings
The first 5 books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deutoronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of Grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

Sixth Day:  Six Geese A-Laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as creator and sustainer of the World. Genesis 1.

Seventh Day:   Seven Swans A-Swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leading, and Compassion.  Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11

Eighth Day:  Eight Maids A-Milking
The Eight Beattitudes: 1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2. those who mourn, 3. the meek, 4. those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5. the merciful, 6. the pure in heart, 7. the peacemakers, and 8. those who are persecuted for righetousness sake.  Matthew 5:3-10

Ninth Day:  Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine fruit of the holy spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfullness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  Galatians 5:22

Tenth Day:  Ten Lords A-Leaping
The 10 Commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2.  Do not make an idol.
3. Do not take God's name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day - keep it holy (set apart).
5. Honor your Father and Mother,
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness.
10. Do not covet.
Exodus 20:1-17

Eleventh Day:  Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven faithful apostles: 1. Simon Peter, 2. Andrew. 3. James, 4. John, 5. Philip, 6. Bartholomew, 7. Matthew, 8. Thomas, 9. James bar Alphaeus, 10. Simon the Zealot, and 11. Judas bar James.  Luke 6:14-16

This list does not include the 12th disciple, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

Twelth Day:  Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrince in the Apostle's Creed. (**not sure I agree with all of them - this is where it gets very "catholicy".
1.  I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into the grave.
5. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
6. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
7. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
8. **the Catholic Church - (I believe there is a Catholic Church....)
9. **the communion of saints - (I believe the Catholic's do...they are everywhere in the chapel at work)
10.  The forgiveness of sins
11. the resurrection of the body
12. and Life EVERLASTING.

So I was totally into it until the end....but I still thinks it is a neat story and a great new reminder of why we are celebrating this season....not for shopping but because of the birth of Christ.

Love and Blessings to all!
Praising Him for who He always is.

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