And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17
At the Roman Catholic Council of Tours in A.D. 567, it was decreed that the twelve days following Christmas Day—December 26 to January 6—were to be set aside as a “sacred and festive season.” This tradition continues in many Christian denominations today, often referred to as Christmastide.
A 1780 English Christmas carol celebrated the twelve days of Christmas in poetic form, enumerating gifts that a true love bestowed on his beloved on each of the twelve days. We sing that poem during the Christmas season today as “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The gifts are well known: a partridge in a pear tree, turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, gold rings, geese, swans, milk maids, dancing ladies, leaping lords, pipers piping, and drummers. Quite a haul! Besides being good fun, the song reminds us how easy it is to focus on the material, rather than the spiritual dimensions of Christmas.
This Christmas, instead of counting presents, consider the blessings bestowed through the greatest gift of all, God’s Son.
A man finally proclaims whether he is a Christian or not by the view he takes of this world. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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