The True Meaning of Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas

As we get caught up in the rush and bustle of This Festive Time, it is easy to forget The True Meaning of Christmas. There are those who are actively working to have the words “Happy Christmas” removed and substituted with terms such as “Happy Holiday” There will be much eating and drinking  and giving and receiving of gifts. Families will be getting together for the one and only time in the year. For others it will be a time of loneliness. The True Meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the greatest gift of all time – God’s gift of His only Son, Jesus. He was born to a teenager in a Middle Eastern stable. He walked as a man, giving us a perfect image of  the Living God. He died on a Roman cross, the most humiliating and agonizing  form of death, to pay the price for our  sins. He rose again, so that one day we could experience eternal life and live with Him. His motive: ” For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, That whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 )

One Solitary Life

” He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter  shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life “. Dr James A. Francis (1864-1928 )

333816: Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of JesusBy David Jeremiah / Tyndale HouseIn Why the Nativity? 25 Compelling Reasons We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus, author David Jeremiah addresses the top 25 questions frequently asked about the birth of Jesus. He discusses how Jesus’ birth changed both world history and the lives of countless people. Read this book and this year when your friends and neighbors ask, “What’s all the hoopla about Christmas?,” you’ll be ready. Includes discussion questions. Paperback.

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At this Christmas time would you remember those less fortunate than yourselves and  consider giving to my favourite Charity

You can give from anywhere in the world by clicking on this link, Samaritan’s Purse .

I pray that You and your Family will encounter Jesus and His Love, as you discover  The True Meaning of Christmas.

 

Doctor Bill  

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Most people know this song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as a popular English Christmas carol, which gives a list of gifts of increasing value. But how many know its origin and meaning.

Origin of the Carol,  “The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas refer to the Festive Days beginning on Christmas Day (25 December) and ending on the evening of 5th January. The Twelfth night is followed by the Feast of The Epiphany on 6 January, in the Christian Religious Calendar. Epiphany  remembers the coming of the Wise Men bringing gifts to The Christ Child in Bethlehem (Matthew 2: 1-12)

Although the specific origins of the chant are not known, It possibly began as a
Twelfth Night “ memories-and-forfeits” game, in which  a leader recited a verse, and each player repeated the verse, the leader added another verse and so on until one of the players made a mistake, with the player who erred having to pay a penalty, such as offering up a kiss or a sweet”. The earliest known printed version of the words were in the children’s book “Mirth without Mischief” published in England around 1780. (See Image below)

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas is believed to be an English Carol. However the song apparently is older than the printed version, though it is not known how much older. Textual evidence indicates that the song is in fact French. Three French versions of the song are known.

The earliest well known version of the music of the song, The Twelve days of Christmas was published in 1846 by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps  an English Shakespearean scholar and a collector of English Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales.

The Twelve Days of Christmas may have no meaning at all. Some have suggested that the each of the “gifts” represented a food or sport for each month of the year. Another has suggested that the lyrics were written as a “catechism song” to help Catholic children learn their faith in the days when practicing Catholicism was discouraged in England. See this suggested meaning in a later Post  

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a “cumulative song” which means that each verse is built on the previous one.

There are many variations of the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and some with changes in items sent. In one version, there is a change in the order of the gifts in the last four verses

Some misinterpretations have crept into the English-language version over the years as we shall see as we explore each of the “Gifts”

There have been many parodies of the song also. For an exhaustive list click on The Twelve days of Christmas  here.

A version considered by many to be the authoritative, traditional version of the chant in England appears in “The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. This can be purchased by clicking on the image below


This post gives you a brief introduction to the Carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

Enjoy the singing of the Carol by Tennesse Ernie Ford on this UTube video.

 

 

In my next post I will tell you about the First Day of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

 

Doctor Bill