Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Remixed

by Glynis M. Belec

I read an article a while ago about the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas." Typically this song is seen as simply a nonsense musical rhyme for children with secular origins. However, some believe it dates back to the 16th century (English religious wars) and is a song of Christian instruction with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Christian Faith. An interesting perspective. Here are some of my own reflections:  

On the first day of Christmas I discovered that my first true love was/is God and life has never been the same! He is always 'giving to me.' I have to remember to give back each day. I long to become all that God created me to be. But I also know that we live in a fallen world so I plod on with hope in my heart. On that final day when I get to stare into those beautiful Divine eyes, then I will be transformed and my journey here will cease. Until that day, I have a responsibilty to keep my own eyes on the goal and try my very best to do whatever I do unto Him. Emmanuel.
On the second day of Christmas I think of the two Turtle Doves and they remind me about the Old and New Testaments. Can

I even begin to fathom the wealth of instruction, love, hope, encouragement, grace, joy and the heart of God that are between those precious pages? No wonder the Bible remains the bestselling book ever. He will not be moved. I don't need to set up any book signings for God. But I do have to remember I have a responsibility to share His good news as I live and breathe. Now there is a special gift for that hard to buy someone.

On the third day of Christmas those three french hens kind of make me think about faith, hope and charity. Faith is believing without seeing - a hard thing to do in this 'prove it' kind of world. But in my heart, I know God is real and He sends us reasons to believe every day. Hope is that feeling I got when I was first diagnosed with cancer and I felt initially like I was spiralling out of control He caught me and lifted me up and whispered that He was in all this. I am living proof that my hope is in Him and He works all things for good! Charity - I go crazy sometimes wishing I could help everyone and send money to all the charities that bombard my mailbox with requests, beautiful Christmas cards, address labels, pens and more. I have found that if I pray about my quandry, then He will direct me.
On the fourth day of Christmas, those four Calling Birds illuminate the Four Gospels. When I first became a Christian people kept telling me to start with the Gospels. I thought that a little odd, because I always figured when I read I should start 'in the beginning' of any given book. Then I realized that the Bible was no ordinary book. "Now the birth of Jesus took place in this way..."  "...John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness..." "In the days of Herod, King of
Judea..." and "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God..."  Then I knew.

On the fifth day of Christmas I am thinking that those five Golden Rings refer to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace. I dare not even think about how many times I have fallen from God's grace. But the amazing thing is that He takes me back and allows me to start over. I need to remember those Old Testament lessons and learn from them. I need a wallop somedays but God knows I am trying.

On the sixth day of Christmas those 6 Geese A-laying represents the six days of creation. I can barely imagine the magnificence of what God was doing. I get up in the morning and absentmindedly blunder my way through another day without one thought of how God created. I saw a play once at the Sight and Sound theatre in Pennsylvania about Creation. I remember leaving with tears in my eyes, struck by the incredible performance and portrayal of how God created. I know it was only a 'rendition' if you like of how God worked, but nonetheless I was awestruck at the mere thought. What possibly could it have been like to been there? What might we be doing if Adam and Eve hadn't succumbed to the lie. I need to be careful of lies...

On the seventh day of Christmas those seven Swans a-swimming might refer to some of the gifts God has already given us through the Holy Spirit:

Wisdom. Jesus is the Word made flesh.  He came to seek and to save that which was lost. I was definitely on the list!
Understanding The gift of being able to perceive the hidden spiritual meaning of the Holy Scriptures - I have a long way to go here some days it seems.
Counsel - I have to admit that I don't know everything. I need to listen more and heed the wise in God.
Fortitude  I learn to endure and persevere through all my difficulties, I am able to do all things in Him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:13],)
Knowledge  This is a little different from wisdom in that I need to learn in my head and then it will transfer to my heart.
Reverence - The Bible doesn't say we have to go to church every Sunday but it does remind me that we are to not give up meeting with one another and lifting each other up and supporting one another in our faith. I need to not get religiosity and relationship mixed up. There is a big difference and His name is Jesus.
Fear of the Lord. They say that the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. That is a mighty thought to ponder as we celebrate the Christmas season!

The eighth day of Christmas talks about eight maids a-milking and gets me thinking about the eight beatitudes of JESUS:
1.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2.  Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

3.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

4.  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

5.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

6.  Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

7.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

8.  Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3-10

So am I truly blessed? I need a little time to go through these and assess where I am at. I am thinking that I need to do some serious homework over the holiday season.

On the ninth day of Christmas. Remember those nine ladies dancing? How about I refresh myself with the  nine Fruits of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? And in the Bible God indicated that against these there was/is no law. What does that mean? I can freely institute them in my life, no exception? Then I had better start making a list and checking it twice.

On the tenth day of Christmas.  This is where the song talks about the ten lords a-leaping. Well I know there is only one Lord and He does not need to leap so I am thinking that a good thing to think about here are those wonderfully convicting Ten Commandments. Do I think if I can adhere to at least 50% then I am home free? I don't think so. These are not the ten suggestions. They are the Ten Commandments on which society is based. I can only imagine what this world would be like if everyone stuck to them, myself included. Well...I suppose it would be heaven! One day...

On the eleventh day of Christmas I consider faithfulness. Judas betrayed Jesus. He sure wasn't faithful. That left eleven faithful disciples. Am I counted in the ranks of a faithful disciple? I am quick to point to the disgusting choice that Judas made choosing money over Christ. But then I contemplate how money motivates so many in this

world. Where do I fit in here? I often think how much better my life would be if only I had more money. I hope I would never even be tempted like Judas should I be in that position. I pray my choice would be Christian joy over worldly happiness!

Finally...on the twelfth day of Christmas. Can you hear those twelve Drummers Drumming? The Apostle's Creed has twelve points that I need to drum into my heart -
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 hell [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 holy catholic Church,
9.  the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
                                                                   12. and life everlasting.

Now that I have made it through all twelve days, it is time to contemplate number One again - my first True Love and all that He has given to me. How blessed am I? Thanks be to God for the Precious Gift of Jesus.  

Merry Christmas to all...Emmanuel

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Glynis, thank you for providing your exposition on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Very well done, and spiced with your 'Glynysian' warmth and personal faith aspirations, which I'm sure speak to the hearts of all who love our Lord!

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