Sunday, January 2, 2011

Catching up: Presents 7, 8 and 9!!

7th Day of Christmas Present:
In the 1990's, a legend surfaced about the meaning of the 12 days of Christmas.
Although its been discredited as the origin of the song itself, the legend is a great example of how pop culture celebrations (like Christmas trees) can be re-imagined to teach and enliven the faith.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

8th Day of Christmas Present:
     Today was "put-away" day at the Parsonage.  (I used to call it boxing day, until I learned that boxing day has nothing to do with packing up Christmas.  Click here to visit a good description of Boxing Day's origins.
     We had a lot of help with our version of boxing;  Sara still home from college, our German friend, Alice and helper #3, J.C. (Jeanne Claude) scurrying up and down and all around.Here's an 8th day bit of fun from the parsonage cat:

9th Day of Christmas Present: A Service for the Blessing of  A Home                                     
Adapted from the United Methodist Book of Worship

Jesus said, “Behold, I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20).
GREETING Friends, we gather here to seek God’s blessing upon this dwelling place, which by the favor of God and human labor has been made ready This home is not only a dwelling but a symbol to us of God’s loving care, and a symbol of our life together as God’s family. So let us bring our praise and thanksgiving for God’s goodness and mercy, and let us offer ourselves as God’s servants and as loving brothers and sisters in God’s family
OPENING PRAYER Almighty and everlasting God, grant the grace of your presence to this home, inhabit and defend this household. Teach them to love, as you have loved us, and help us all to live in the peace of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let your love rest upon this place so that all who enter may know how your love through the hospitality that it offers. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever.  AMEN
SCRIPTURE:  Joshua 24:  14-15
+ Lighting a candle   
“May the light of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, shine within your hearts”
+ Opening a Bible    
“May the Word of the Lord grow within your hearts and minds, guiding your journey.”
+ Lifting up of the Cross   
“May the sacrificial love of Christ’s death and resurrection point you toward the promise of eternal life.”
BLESSING  all present may extend their hands in blessing.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we bless the family and friends of this dwelling place, committing to God’s love and care all who dwell within these walls.
May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face to shine upon you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forever more. AMEN

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