The 12 Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Have you ever thought about the Christmas song entitled – The Twelve Days Of Christmas? We all hear it and sing it throughout the Christmas season, but do we even understand what we are singing about, other than a bird in a tree, and people dancing and drumming, etc.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a traditional Christmas song that represents a lyric for each night starting on December 26 and ending on January 6 or the Twelfth Night.

The date of the song’s first performance is not known, though it is said to have been used in European and Scandinavia traditions as early as the 16th century.

The dictionary describes an allegory as a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. “The 12 Days of Christmas” is most often referred to as an religious allegory.

Some believe that each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith and the hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn about their faith.

Some believe it was just a song to help memorize certain religious facts and others believe it was just a song sung for the fun of trying to memorize the lyrics.

Regardless of where or why it came into being, it is a song that really does teach us the facts of Jesus and the Bible… and it’s fun to sing!

The Partridge in a Pear Tree is:

Jesus Christ on the cross

The Two Turtle Doves are:

The Old Testament and New Testament

The Three French Hens are:

The Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit)

or some say: Love, Hope & Faith.

The Four Calling Birds are:

The Four Gospels/Gospel Writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John)

The five golden rings represents:

The first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy)

The Six Geese a-laying are:

The 6 Days of Creation – Genesis 1 (1. God created the heavens and the earth; 2.God created the sky and seas; 3. God created the land and plants; 4. God created the sun, moon, and stars; 5. God created fish and birds; 6. God created land animals and man)

The Seven Swans a-swimming are:

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit from Isaiah 11:1-2 (1.Wisdom; 2.Understanding; 3.Counsel; 4.Fortitude (might); 5.Knowledge; 6.Piety (reverent/religious); 7.Fear of the Lord)

The Eight Maids a milking are:

The 8 Beatitudes – from Matthew 5:3-10 (1.Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 2.Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 3.Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 4.Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 5.Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 6.Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 7.Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 8.Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)

or

The Eight People Saved on the Ark (Noah, and his family): Noah, Wife of Noah, His son Shem, His son Ham, His son Japheth, Wife of Shem, Wife of Ham, Wife of Japheth

The Nine Ladies Dancing are:

The 9 Fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control)

The Ten Lords a-leaping are:

The Ten Commandments (1. Thou shall have no other gods before me; 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; 3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; 4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy; 5. Honour thy father and mother; 6. Thou shalt not kill; 7. Thou shalt not commit adultery; 8. Thou shalt not steal; 9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor; 10. Thou shalt not covet)

The Eleven Pipers Piping are:

The 11 Faithful Disciples: Simon (whom He named Peter); Andrew; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James son of Alphaeus; Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas son of James.

Side note: Judas Iscariot- is not counted as he was not faithful to Jesus. Judas was later replaced with faithful Matthias

The Twelve Drummers Drumming are:

The twelve Points of the Apostles’ Creed (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.; 5. He descended into the dead. On the third day he rose again.; 6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.; 7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.; 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,; 9. The holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,; 10. The forgiveness of sins,; 11. The resurrection of the body,; 12. And the life everlasting.)

Father God

This is a song of remembrance. It speaks of: Jesus, the Bible, the Trinity, the men who penned the bible for us, the story of creation, 7 gifts from the Holy Spirit, the beatitudes, the gift of rebirth (through Noah), the 9 fruits of the Spirit, the law to live by, the disciples who we’re faithful to Jesus and their teachings.

In a world where worry, not peace, reigns, we need to remember all of these things so that being solid in our faith, can be a light to others and draw us all closer to you.

With the fruit of the Spirit (love, peace, joy and faithfulness etc.) we can be at rest in you no matter the situation.

We must remember to keep your true names in our hearts and on our lips – Almighty God, Precious Saviour, The Prince Of Peace. In remembrance of your work and your true nature, your names will remind us exactly who you are – the Great I AM!

I believe you will come again! What a beautiful promise! One day soon, Jesus WILL come again, not as a timid Lamb but as a roaring Lion. Every knee will bow down to the King of Kings and there will be total peace on earth.

My prayer for today Father, is that every person will feel the warmth of your love, turn to find Jesus standing with open arms, welcoming them into the family of God and that they will accept without hesitation, and will have life eternal.

In the precious and beautiful name of Jesus Christ, I pray

Amen

Interested in how to become a child of God? Click here.

Were the Wise Men at Jesus’s birth? – Matthew 2: 1-16

Today I will pick up from last year’s posts entitled “An Invitation To A Very Special Birth” and “The Wise Men Visit Christ

Were the wise men present at Jesus’ birth? The following explains the reasons why I believe the wise men were not present at the manager; in Bethlehem, on the night of Christ’s birth.

REASON #1 – Magi travelled long distance

Matthew 2:[1] Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem

Did the wise men leave the moment they saw the star or did they wait a bit; watching for a while, to make sure it was really the prophesied star?

Whether they pondered on it or not, they had to prepare for the long journey and following that they had the travel time from their country to Bethlehem.

The wise men couldn’t have travelled from a distant country in the East to Jerusalem all in one night or even in a number of nights. How do we know they were from a different country?

Matthew 2 :[12] says – “and being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed to their OWN COUNTRY another way”.

As for the shepherds… Luke 2:[8] “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

The Shepherds were right there in Bethlehem and able to get to the manager right away.

REASON # 2 – Audience With King Herod.

When the Magi finally arrived in Israel, the Bethlehem star disappeared. They needed directions before they could find Jesus. They stopped to ask directions from King Herod

With this delay, even if they had arrived in Israel on the day of Jesus’ birth, they wouldn’t have been present when the shepherds were there.

As we will see, King Herod keeps them for a time.

REASON # 3 – The wise men ask about the new king but King Herod (in the dark about these matters)

Matthew 2:[2] “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

Herod obviously had no prior knowledge of the prophecy telling of the “King of the Jews” born in his kingdom.

Herod was at a great disadvantage and most likely very embarrassed with the situation. He had to delay the Magi while he searched for answers from his chief priests and scribes.

REASON #4 – How long were the Magi kept with Herod while he searched for answers?

Matthew 2:[3] – When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

The scripture tells us that ALL were troubled in Jerusalem about what King Herod would do.

Therefore the wise men must have been in Herod’s presence at least long enough for the news to spread throughout Jerusalem.

Matthew 2:[4-5] And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

The Priests and Scribes found the scripture which prophesied the coming of the King of the Jews.

Micah 5:. [2] But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. [3] Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. [4] And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. [5] And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

(Part of scripture has been quoted here in Matthew 2:6)

Matthew 2:[6] “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

REASON #5 – King Herod needed more information from the wise men.

After receiving information from his chief priests and scribes, he turns back to the Magi to fill in the gaps.

Matthew 2:[7] “Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.”

King Herod asks with a persistently constant effort (diligently) to know when the “Bethlehem” star first appeared to them, which would actually reveal the child’s age. He now gets exact information from the Magi of when they first saw the star and where the child was living.

Reason # 6 – Baby Verses Young Child.

Matthew 2:[8] And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

This information was not so he could bless the child, as he tells the wise men, but to kill the child.

From the scripture of Micah 5:2 and of the wise men, Herod now knows the approximate date of Christ’s birth and the area of his birth (Bethlehem)

Herod sends the Magi to find the “young child” (not the baby) in Bethlehem.

Reason #7 – The Star Reappears, Leading The Wise Men To Jesus

Matthew 2:[9] “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

Side note: Many people ask how the wise men followed the star in the “east” as they lived in the east and travelled west. In those days, Greece literally named the neighbouring land east of Greece, “East”. So they were not travelling in the direction “east” but to the place called “east”.

Matthew 2:[10] When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Once outside the star now reappears. As Herod was not able to give them much help as to where the child was, they were overjoyed that the star reappears and they are able to follow it and find Jesus.

REASON #8 – Jesus In A House As A Young Child

Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”
This scripture tells us the star lead the Magi to a house not a manger.
The wise men went into the house and saw the young child. Jesus is not referred to as a babe. They bowed down to the young child.
The Magi saw Jesus and Mary but Joseph is not mentioned.
Whereas at Jesus’ birth:
Luke 2:12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager.
Luke 2:16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph and the babe lying in a manager.
The shepherds saw the baby in the manager, wrapped in baby blankets. They visited Jesus, Joseph and Mary.

REASON #9 – Mary’s purification and Jesus’ presentation to the Lord

Leviticus 12:6. 6 “And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:”
Luke 2:24. “And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.”
Leviticus tells us a mother shall bring a lamb for a burnt offering AND a young pigeon or a turtle dove. Mary did not offer a Lamb – does that mean they were too poor? If the Magi had already visited Jesus, they would have had much more to offer as a sacrifice.

REASON #10 – Jesus assumed to be about 2 years old.

Matthew 2:13 “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
Matthew 2:14 “When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:”
Matthew 2:15 “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
Matthew 2:16 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.”
God needed to protect Jesus, so he told Joseph to take the young child and flee, which they did.
Herod realized that the Wise Men were gone and hadn’t returned to tell him where the child was.
Sadly all of the boys 2 years and younger were killed by Herod’s order.
So my reasoning is that the wise men travelled from a long way, then stayed with Herod for a time. The baby was now a child found in a house not a manger.
Also when Mary went for her purification and Jesus’ presentation to God, she didn’t offer a lamb, so obviously the wise men had not been to worship Jesus at that point. Herod had all boy children 2 years and under killed hoping that one of them was the future king.

Father God in Heaven,

I am so happy to know that you and you alone are in control of all things.

When we break down scripture and examine it carefully, the whole story unfolds before us.

Over the years our perception of what happened the night of Christ’s birth may have been influenced a bit, by songs and nativity displays and the like.

What really matters? We see that you sent the lowly and the rich to be witnesses to the life of Jesus Christ.

And then you recorded it all in scripture that has survived centuries so that we can read, learn and believe in your Son, Jesus Christ.

These aren’t just people in a made-up story, but real people of flesh and blood, who had to endure many things to overcome the enemy of this world.

Thank you Lord for sending a part of yourself to earth so that we have the supreme opportunity of knowing you and your love, through the body of a man born of a virgin on this earth.

The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus completed His task on this earth and that through the name of a Jesus, we can find salvation and one day meet Him face-to-face.

Thank you Almighty God.

In the precious name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray

Amen

Glorious Light of Jesus – Romans 13: 14

Romans 13:14

[14] But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (KJV)

We have already been told about the Armour of God and know we must we suit up everyday, with the separate virtues; put on piece by piece, prepared for battle.

We also know it is important to have kindness, love, peacefulness and the likes as discussed in Galatians 5:22-26 last week.

So now Paul is telling us that in Christ we are a new person. (In our Baptism, we cast off the old man and have put on the new.)

As we have accepted Jesus, we will now live our lives in the way Jesus lead his; the way God intended.

We are to stand strong and be willing for God to work in us through Jesus. Our part is accomplished by walking right, living right and not living just for our own desires.

Father in Heaven

Thank you for being such an awesome God. Thank you that you sent your Son to us so that we can live our lives in you, here on earth. And then when this earthly body expires, have an eternal life with you in heaven.
Many people believe that by putting on Jesus they must give up so much. It may seem like such a huge step for some people, but truly without Jesus, the enemy walks all over us.
As a Christian, I don’t feel that I have given up anything by being your child. I feel more blessed, more peaceful, more loved by living my life for you.
I pray Father for all people to come out of the darkness and into the glorious light of the Lord Jesus Christ.
May I always be your servant Lord and may your will be done through me.
In Jesus’ name

Amen

Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5: 22-26

Galatians 5:

[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

[25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

[26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

We all have both good and bad in us. Each moment, we choose which seed to plant, which in turn determines which fruit we will harvest.

Paul tells us that when we plant love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), meekness (indulgence), and temperance (self-control, moderation) that is the fruit we harvest.

In verse 24 he tells us that by becoming Christians we have promised to crucify our flesh. We have nailed all of our “wants” to the cross with Jesus. We have removed the old man and put on a new man. (Eph. 4:22-24, Col.3:9-10, Romans 6:66)

We have promised not to serve sin. We have promised to live in the Spirit of Christ, showing outwardly our love for God in our actions, conversations and daily walk.

We do not live a Christian life to bring attention to ourselves, but to live in a manner that honours and glorifies God.

Paul writes “against such things there is no law” (5:23).

Paul is telling the people their flesh needs to be restrained. Without restraint, the “works of the flesh” will reveal themselves. When we walk “in the Spirit” we soon start to change and automatically our ways reflect the character of God.

In this letter, Paul is perhaps telling the Galatians to better themselves by living the fruits of the Spirit every day and to include this type of living in their Church and in their Christian communities.

Paul shares an amazing fact with us! If everyone were to live by God’s moral law, then there would be no need for any other law.

Elohim (All sufficient One)

Father God

Each and every day upon waking, I have a choice to make. Will I follow God today in every way or will I break down and follow where the enemy leads me?

With each step I take throughout the day, I choose the path I am going to follow. Each word I speak and the actions I use, all determines my fruit.

The last line of this scripture talks about the law. I guess I’ve never thought about it before, but Paul was absolutely right. If everyone in the world followed and lived according to the Fruits of the Spirit, the world would not need any other laws at all. What an awesome thought!

Unfortunately, that is not the way our world lives, hence man-made laws and so many of them.

I know Lord that one day soon the entire world (of Christians) will live by your fruits and nothing else. We will all be living for Christ, without the influence of satan. I look forward to that day Lord, when Jesus comes back to the earth to rule as King.

Until then; please Lord, give me the desire, strength and faith to live by the law you have given us in the fruit of the Spirit (and The Ten Commandments).

In service to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,

I pray.

Amen

Hallelujah