The Twelve Days of Christmas

I adore Christmas carols! I love the way they transport us into the story of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. They tell the story of God coming into the world through the Christ Child. We urge Him onward with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” We journey with Mary and Joseph to the small town outside of Jerusalem in “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” We hear the heavenly choir of angels in “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” We marvel at the humble birth of the Christ Child with “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” “What Child is This?” and “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” We acknowledge His majesty with “The First Noel” and “We Three Kings.” (It’s ok to reread this paragraph and sing all the titles in your head if you didn’t the first time. That’s how I wrote it.)

12 Days of ChristmasOnly recently, I heard that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has a hidden Christian meaning. Each day’s extravagant gift is also a symbol of a Christian faith essential. The gift giver is, of course, God.

The slideshow below shows all twelve days and their alternative Christian meaning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can also download a printout here. It includes the traditional lyrics, the Christian lyrics, and scripture references.

These 12 Christian Days of Christmas are the essentials of the Christian faith, a comprehensive crash course if you will. This list includes the beginning of the world, establishing God as the creator who walked with His children in the cool of the day. It includes the laws God put in place when we stumbled. It shows us what our lives will look like when we follow His law. And it includes God’s plan for drawing His creation home through Jesus Christ.

In the midst of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we have until January 6, I challenge you to spend some time with the day of Christmas that speaks to you. If you’ve never accepted God’s mercy and love, spend some time praying about Jesus dying on the cross for your sins. Take time to read one of the gospels or Torah books. Get to know the three persons of God. Meditate on the days of creation, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit, the Beatitudes, or the Ten Commandments. Pray through the Apostles Creed and ask God to engrain those powerful faith statements on your heart. Ask God to guide you this New Year as you seek His face and will for your life.

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