This Day of Christmas

I love Christmas.  I love everything about it.  The decorations, the music, the time with family, and most of all celebrating the birth of the one person who came to change the world, and break the bonds of sin.

I love Christmas carols, especially the ones that have Christian meanings.  Did you know that the 12 days of Christmas have Christian symbols throughout it?  I read them a few years ago but decided to dig them out since right now we are in the 12 days of Christmas making our way to Epiphany January 6th.

The 12 days of Christmas were written to help people remember 12 tenants of the Christian faith.  They're fun to know, so I've put them below.  See how many you know; we had fun talking about these Christmas Eve after church.  I hope your family enjoys them also!

May your days be merry & bright!
Celebrating Life!

The meaning behind the 12 days of Christmas
A partridge in a pear tree
Two turtle doves
                             The Old and New Testaments
Three French hens
                             The three kings bearing gifts
Four calling [sic] birds
                                      The four Gospels
Five gold rings
                             The Torah or Pentateuch, the first five 
                                    books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying
                                      The six days of Creation
Seven swans a-swimming
                                      Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
Eight maids a-milking
                             The eight Beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing
                                      Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten lords a-leaping
                                      The Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping
                             The eleven faithful Apostles
Twelve drummers drumming
                             The twelve points of the Apostles' Creed

The three kings:
They were from the Orient & were astrologers.  Brought Gold (king) Frankincense (what the Jewish people had as part of their sacrifices to God) & Myrrh (made into an oil that was put on dead people)

The four Gospels:
Matthew, Mark, Luke & John

The first five books of the old testament:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Six Days of Creations
God rested on the 7th day.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
Understanding: In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known, Aquinas writes.
Counsel (Right Judgment): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.
Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil.
Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts.
Piety (Reverence): With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit's instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Aquinas writes.
Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7) because it puts our mindset in correct location with respect to God: we are the finite, dependent creatures, and He is the infinite, all-powerful Creator.
Wisdom: It is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones.

The eight beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–12 during the Sermon on the Mount are stated as Blessed/Happy/Fortunate are:
the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:3)
those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (5:5)
they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be satisfied. (5:6)
the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (5:8)
the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. (5:9)
those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)

Nine Fruits of the spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patients), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Ten Commandments Exodus 20: 1-17:
And God spoke all these words:
I1.   am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.
2.  You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
3.  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
4.  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5.  Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
6.  You shall not murder.
7.  You shall not commit adultery.
8.  You shall not steal.
9.  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The Eleven faithful apostles
2 sets of brother: James & John;  Simon Peter & Andrew
2 repeaters:  James the lesser & Simon the Zealot
The doubter & the tax collecter:  Thomas, Matthew
Guys with different names or spellings:  Philip, Bartholomew & Thaddeus
(Judas would make 12, but he betray Jesus and is not included in the 11th day of Christmas)

The Apostle’s Creed:   
from Greek apostolos  a messenger, from apostellein  to send forth
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
(some versions have that he ascended into hell)
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


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