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1808 PD: Just dropping by ... Twelve days of Christmas

Yevet Tenney Published on 09 December 2008

Sometimes I look at the glitter and ostentatious glow of Christmas with a feeling of sorrow.

I wonder how one shining star over a stable centuries ago could turn into the fanfare of commercialism it is today. I shutter at the word “X-mas” as I realize that Christ is no longer the focus of our American way of life. We are systematically losing our heritage to godless individuals who care only about preserving our secular heritage. I wonder how we can wander from the feeling of fear, humility and searching of 9-11 to the blatant abandonment of God. My heart weeps at the thought. I understand profoundly the feeling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

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I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

With all the economic unrest and the upheaval and uncertainty of the coming years, how can anyone think that there will ever be peace on earth again? I wept at the changing of the American guard, and feared for the American freedoms and the way of life that we hold dear. What is to become of us?Then I realized just as Longfellow – God is not dead!

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

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Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

God is not dead! He is not asleep! He is there ready to welcome us home, if we will turn to Him in fervent prayer. The secular world may take away our rights to display the 10 Commandments and to pray in public, but our homes still belong to us! We can pray in our homes, and teach our children to pray. If the secular world takes away our churches and the security of our homes, we still can pray in our hearts. No one will ever be able to block the prayers we say in our hearts. God will hear our cries, and He will keep His promises.

We must turn to Christmas with a renewed commitment to remember Jesus. It used to be that Christians understood Christian symbolism. We used to teach the Bible in our schools. Children grew up with parables. Now that we have taken the Bible away, children don’t understand symbolism. For example, many have forgotten the meaning of the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” My true love is God.

“In the carol, two turtledoves represent the new and old testaments of the Holy Bible while three French hens represent the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Five golden rings represent the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Old Testament of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Six geese-a-laying represent the Biblical story of the six days of creation. Seven swans-a-swimming symbolize the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Eight maids-a-milking represent the eight beatitudes. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit while the Ten Lords-a-leaping are the Ten Commandments. Eleven pipers are the eleven faithful apostles of Jesus Christ and finally, the Twelve drummers are the twelve points of principle of the Apostle’s Creed. (www.worldofchristmas.net/12-days-of-christmas.html)

Today children need to be taught in straightforward language. I have re-composed the lyrics of the old familiar carol, so there is no mistake about Christmas and who it is really about.

Twelve Days of Christmas

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On the first day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
bright starlight in a stable

On the second day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the third day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the fourth day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the fifth day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the sixth day of Christmas,
My Savior gave to me
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the seventh day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the eighth day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Eight harps a harping
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the ninth day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Nine saints a watching
Eight harps a harping
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the tenth day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Ten laws for living
Nine saints a watching
Eight harps a harping
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Eleven candles shining
Ten laws for living
Nine saints a watching
Eight harps a harping
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My Savior gave to me
Twelve tribes rejoicing
Eleven candles shining
Ten laws for living
Nine saints a watching
Eight harps a harping
Seven angels singing
Six shepherds bowing
Five leagues of love
Four woolly sheep
Three wise men
Two lowing cows
And bright starlight in a stable

There is no need to fear for the coming years. We need to seek the Savior as the wise men did. We must bring our gifts from our meager livelihood as the shepherds did. His angels will minister to us, and the light of His star will shine over us, never failing to lead us through the darkness to bask in the warmth of His incredible love. God bless you everyone! PD

by Yevet Tenney

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