Archive for December, 2013

12 Days of Christmas

12_days_of_christmas

Advertisements

The meaning behind the song “12 Days of Christmas”

Historically, Christmas is the season of the Christian Year for the days beginning on December 25 and lasting until January 6 (the Day of Epiphany) when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi.  From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution.  The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

The “partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ.

The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

The three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

The five gold rings recall the torah (Law) the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

The seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.

The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

The nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Spirit (Gal.5).

The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

#MiniBulletin : Christmas bombings in Baghdad kill at least 37

Three bombs exploded in Baghdad on Christmas Day, killing at least 37 people.

All three bombs went off in a Christian neighborhood; the third, the Associated Press reported, went off “near” a church. According to a statement from the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate, that bomb exploded “a distance from the church” and near a police station.

“The Christian community in Iraq has suffered deliberate and senseless targeting by terrorists for many years, as have many other innocent Iraqis,” the US embassy said in a statement. “The United States abhors all such attacks and is committed to its partnership with the government of Iraq to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

— taken from http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAQ?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-12-25-06-40-33 —

#MiniBulletin : Indonesian Christians brace for Islamic attacks at Christmas

Indonesian police and some Muslim volunteers are cooperating with Christians to protect churches and worshippers from attacks at Christmas, the Fides news service reports.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has announced that there are reports of Islamic militants planning assaults on Christian targets during the Christmas season. The threat level is especially high in Sumatra.

On Sumatra, a major resort hotel in Banda Aceh has canceled plans for New Year’s Eve parties, the AsiaNews service reports. The hotel took action after a local Islamic council said that Christmas and New Year’s Day should not be celebrated because they are not Muslim holidays.

— taken from http://www.fides.org/en/news/34957-ASIA_INDONESIA_Terrorism_Alarm_at_Christmas_Muslims_and_Christians_united_in_defense_of_churches#.UsFzfNIW00F —

#MiniBulletin : Somalia bans Christmas

For the first time since 1991, Somalia’s ministry of justice and religious affairs announced that any celebration of Christmas in the Sunni Muslim nation would be banned.

The Somali Government has banned celebration of Christian festivities in the country.

A directive released by the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs stated that no Christian festivities could be held in Somalia.

The Director General of the ministry, Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow Aden, and the Director of the Religious Matters, Sheikh Ali Sheikh Mohamud alias Sheikh Ali Dhere, held a press conference in the capital Mogadishu, to make the announcement.

Aden, on his part, stated that all security and law enforcement agencies had been instructed to counter any such celebrations.

He added that copies of the directive were delivered to hotels and other meeting places in Mogadishu.

The officials did not say anything on whether non-Muslim foreign workers or residents could celebrate or not.

It is the first time that a Somali government has banned the celebrations since the last central government collapsed in 1991.

Located in the Horn of Africa, the Sunni Muslim nation of 10 million has one parish, three priests, four sisters, and 100 Catholics, according to Vatican statistics.

— taken from http://www.kbc.co.ke/somali-govt-bans-christmas-celebrations/ —

Keyword to Jesus birth

words

Saint John the Baptist

John-Baptist-Baptism-JesusJohn the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of  Mary who visited her. As Zachary was ministering in the Temple, the angel Gabriel brought him news that Elizabeth would bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. Zachary doubted and was struck dumb until John’s birth.

John was born 6 months before Jesus Christ. Thirty years later, John began a ministry of baptism. He was a priest, wearing a leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people of Jerusalem. He was in wilderness area on the Jordan river. People came from all over, especially from Judah and Jerusalem, to hear John preach and heed his call to repent of their sins and be baptized. John converted many, and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah wrote how the Messiah would be “led like a lamb to the slaughter” as a sacrifice to take away our sins (Isa.53:7). That’s why, when John saw Jesus coming toward him, he pointed to Him and said to his disciples, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He baptized Jesus in the Jordan river, after which he stepped away and said to the people who was gathering around the Jordan river: “I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the holy spirit.”

John had publicity reprimanded King Herod for taking his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias as his own, so Herod had him imprisoned. Herodias held a grudge against John for this and greatly desired to kill him. Herod too wanted to kill him but he also considered John to be a just and holy man and the people considered him a prophet so he was afraid to kill him.

About a year passed after John’s imprisonment, when Herod celebrating his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers, and officers, and a thousand leading men of Galilee. Salome, the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of Herod, also came to this banquet. She danced for Herod, which pleased him and his guests. The dance so delighted Herod that he swore he would reward her with anything she asked—up to half of his kingdom. Salome didn’t know what to ask so she went out and asked her mother. Herodias told her to ask for John’s head on a platter. So she went back in to the party and demanded John the Baptist’s head. And so Herod sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison. The soldier fulfilled the order of the king, brought the head of John the Baptist on a platter and gave it to Salome, and Salome gave it to her mother Herodias.