Good morning folks, Here is this week’s Midweek Meditation if you should wish to take a few quiet moments to listen and think about it. It tells of a 16th Century secret code. I hope you find it both interesting and thought provoking. It reminds us that there is much about the Bible and Faith that we don”t understand but that’s ok, there is a great and all seeing and all knowing God who does, and one day all will be revealed. Take care and keep safe. Iain
6th January 2020
On the 12 days of Christmas……
Good morning folks, I hope you are as well as you can be under these pretty extreme kind of circumstances.
Today is, of course, the 6th January, the 12th day after Christmas.
Is it only 12 days? It seems so much longer.
The day all the decorations should be down by – and it is also, and more importantly, the day of Epiphany – the day of ‘enlightenment’ of understanding just who this Holy child really is.
He wasn’t just a ‘child in a manger’ but God’s own son.
The Magi – through their gifts – foretold the world who this child was – and would be.
- Gold for a King,
- Frankincense, an incense used by priests
- And Myrrh, used in embalming, foretelling of His impending cruel death – all revealed that this child was the Saviour that the people had asked for – the Saviour that God had promised.
Prophet, Priest and King – all wrapped in in that wee baby boy.
The symbolism would not have been lost on the Holy men of the day.
There is much symbolism in and around Christmas, and as it is the 12th day – I thought I would share something with you that you may not we aware of.
But first let us pray –
Holy, Heavenly Father, we thank you for your great love for us – and for sending your Son down to us so that we might know that love in our everyday lives. Christ came for us.
Bless those who have yet to know that love, and bless those whose lives are confused and chaotic – bring to them an understanding of the role that Jesus can make to their lives – if only they would let Him in.
Give them, give us, a faith to trust and believe in His life giving, life saving power, even when we do not fully understand all of His ways.
Watch over us and all those we know and love in this brand new year. May it bring health, happiness and a faith filled, peace filled year.
And all this we ask is in the precious name of God’s only Son, our only Hope – Jesus Christ.
What’s your favourite part of Christmas ??
Is it the presents – the food – or perhaps the tinsel or the Carols ?
One of the thing is like is the “12 days of Christmas song” – you know – with ‘Lord’s a leaping and Maids a milking and all that.
But just like Christmas itself – beneath that seemingly daft wee song – there is a wealth of Christian history – and so –– I thought that we’d look at this Christmas song – and see what lies beneath this harmless song. Or is it?
You might be surprised to hear that it is actually a secret undercover code.
mmmmmmmmm tell me more !! –
Well – it was written in 16th century England – by two monks – at a time of much political and religious turmoil.
The Roma Catholics had been in power and all things Protestant were banned.
And now the Protestants had gained political power and the Roman Catholic faith had been driven underground – and practicing such a faith was punishable by death.
And so our two ‘musical monks’ – wrote the “12 days of Christmas” – with seemingly silly and pointless lyrics – but just like the Christmas message itself – there is more to it than meets the eye.
And so let’s go through each day to see what it really says !!
The first day – ‘a partridge in a pear tree’ – relates to Jesus on the cross.
The second day – ‘two turtle doves’ – refers to the two parts of the bible – the Old and the New Testaments
The third day – ‘three french hens’ represents the 3 Wise men – and the three Biblical virtues – faith – hope and charity.
The fourth day – ‘the four calling cards’ are the 4 gospels – of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The ‘five gold rings’ refer to the first 5 books of the Old Testament – once believed to have been written by Moses himself.
The ‘six geese a laying’ represent the six days of creation.
And the ‘seven swans a swimming’ refer to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – namely prophesying – serving – teaching – encouraging – helping others – leadership and mercy.
The ‘eight maids a milking’ – are the eight Beatitudes which Jesus spoke of in his Sermon on the Mount – blessed are the poor, those who mourn – the meek – those who hunger – the merciful – the pure in heart – the peacemakers – and those who are persecuted.
The ‘nine ladies dancing’ are the nine fruits of the spirit- namely – love – joy – peace – patience – kindness – goodness – faithfulness – gentleness and self control – virtues that as christians – if we are filled with the holy spirit – we are to practice.
And the ‘10 lord’s a leaping’ are the 10 commandments .
The ‘11 pipers playing’ refer to the 11 faithful apostles (excluding Judas of course !)
And finally the ‘12 drummers drumming’ are in reference to the 12 beliefs outlined in the Apostles Creed – an it’s an affirmation of our faith – and that’s why we say it together at our Communion Services – when we say together – I believe in –
- GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY
- IN JESUS CHRIST
- IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
- THE VIRGIN MARY
- THAT JESUS DIED AND WAS BURIED
- THE RESURRECTION
- THAT HE COMES TO JUDGE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
- IN THE CATHOLIC OR UNIVERSAL CHURCH
- THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
- THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
- THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY (OUR BODY WITH JESUS)
- IN THE LIFE EVER LASTING.
So you see – what was a simple little ditty – turns out to be theological dialogue – set to music..!! It could be sung or recited in public as a statement of faith – buT without the danger of being arrested….
It also shows us that in matters of faith – in matters of Christmas – there is much more than at first meets the eye !
And even tho’ we may not FULLY understand it all – we place out trust in an all seeing, all knowing God, who does!
You see – Christmas is not just about a baby – but it’s about God coming into the world,
it’s not just about ‘saying’ we’re Christians and then living lives that bear no resemblance to his.
It’s about modeling ourselves on Him – following His ways – praying that God will forgive us our selfish and narrow ways – so that we might be filled with His Holy Spirit and so filled with those 7 gifts that the seven swans a swimming alluded to –
namely prophesying – serving – teaching – encouraging – helping others – leadership and mercy……
and if we’re working through a check list – how many of those have we yet to acquire ??
Christmas is about God coming into the world for ordinary, everyday people like you and I – showing us that he is not just for the high and the holy – but for the poor and the lowly –
The unmarried mothers – like Mary.
Like the Shepherds – real, everyday people – people – like us – for the people that society so often shuns – yet Jesus showed himself first to them!
Christmas is about the church – the people of God – who come together – week by week – to learn about this wee baby – what He grew into – who He really was – is – and what we must learn from Him if we are to hope for a better life to come.
Christmas – Christ – is about all this – and so much more
It’s about – as the Carol says – that ‘love which came down at Christmas’..
A love that stayed and is still here –
That love that He gives to us – and asks us to give to others – not just for the 12 days of Christmas – but all the year round !!
Now doesn’t that give us all something to think about?!
Take care and God bless.
I hope your week is going well –
and please – keep safe.