What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas

Everyone is likely taking decorations down and calling Christmas quits right about now, but not us.

No sirree.

We Newmans like to extend things a bit.

Last year, we learned about the real meaning of the 12 days of Christmas and thought it a wonderful way to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Unfamiliar?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. During that era, this carol was written as a catechism song for young children. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five
books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy
Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love,
Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

"My True Love" of course, is the Giver of all Gifts: God and the receiver, or "me" is every Christian.

Well, we aren't Roman Catholic but these catechisms are important not just to Roman Catholics but for all Christians to learn. On our 3rd day of Christmas we will also be including teaching on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Why? Why not? No better day to teach the trinity.

There is some disagreement about the validity of the story, mainly because it can't be proven either way. But I think, regardless of the past---what an excellent way to teach these truths and focus our attentions on the real meaning of the season!

Last year we tried opening gifts on each day but since we only give three gifts each, that didn't really work well. This year, I decided, we would celebrate the 12 days of Christmas by doing a special activity each day along with focusing on the truths of that day.

So, instead of boxing up our ornaments and pulling down our lights, we are just now getting ourselves all wrapped up into the Christmas spirit!

I'll be sharing our 12 Days of Christmas as time allows...

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