40. The Twelve Days of Christmas

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Reconnect Episode 40

There are in fact twelve days of Christmas.  In the Western Church calendar, the twelve days of Christmas start on Dec. 25th and end on January 5th.  A break down of the days are as follows:

Dec. 25 – Christmas
Dec. 26 – The Feast of Stephen
Dec. 27 – John the Baptist’s martyrdom
Dec. 28 – Feast of the Holy Innocents
Jan. 1 –   Feast of the Name and Circumcision of Jesus
Jan. 5 –   Day of the Magi

This means that the famous song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is connected to the Church calendar, and some people have certainly made some deeper connections to the meaning of the gifts from the “True Love” of the song by finding Biblical parallels.  Was this song intentionally written as code to teach the Christian faith?  And even if it wasn’t, can these Biblical connections add a new sense of wonder to the song and help remind us that we have way more to celebrate and remember in the Church calendar for the Christmas Season?  I think so.  Listen and find out more!

Show Links:

12 Days of Christmas Show Notes

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine

Snopes and the “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

Lyrics to “A New Dial”

Reconnect Episode 40 Part 2

Merry Christmas!  All twelve days of it! 

Order my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True: Here.

Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust. From Whence We Came We Shall Return.

Why do we put ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.

Lent is a season of the church year. It is a season of penitence. Penitence means remorse for wrongdoings, in this case our sin.   Lent is a preparatory season, which means we are preparing for Jesus’ death and resurrection.

ash-wednesday

The question then is, “why the ashes for repentance?”

This comes from the ancient biblical tradition of covering one’s head with ashes, wearing sackcloth, and fasting.

Let’s see this tradition made visible in scripture.

Daniel 9:1-6, 17-19

Jonah 3:1-10

Other parts of scripture also show this practice for penitence and mourning.

On Ash Wednesday the church carries on this ancient tradition of using ashes.

On Ash Wednesday churchgoers are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes.

Symbolism of the ashes:

The ashes remind us that . .

– Death comes to everyone

– We should be sorry for our sins.

Where does this symbolism come from in Scripture?

Genesis 2:7

Genesis 3:1-5, 19

God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.

Genesis 18:27

In Conclusion, putting on ashes is a symbol of the death that we so rightly deserve because of our sin. The ashes are in the form of the cross because it reminds us that God in his mercy gave us his Son, Jesus, to take our sin and death and die in our place.