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Summary: This popular Christmas song was written in the 16th century as a way to teach children the basic doctrines of the Bible.

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“The Real Twelve Days of Christmas”

TEXT: James 1:17-18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning… 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”

INTRODUCTION:

In the 16th century, England proclaimed an official state church, and any other religious teaching was strictly forbidden.

For over 300 years, the free expression of Christian Living was not allowed—

During this time, people fled England for a new life in America—PILGRIMS…leaving the OLD WORLD…

Christian parents during this time, were looking for a new way to teach their children the basic doctrines of the Bible.

Someone had a brilliant idea!

Using secret Christian symbols through the

lyrics of a song!

Christians had used symbols before…

The Fish, The Cross, even the Greek letter, “X” was used—

Someone composed this cheerful song, about a generous benefactor who loved to give, could be freely sung without ever using God’s name—

You see, “MY TRUE LOVE” refers to God!

1 John 4:19-21

“We love Him because He first loved us.”

“If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

There’s a song that says,

“I love you, Lord…and I lift my voice…to worship you…O, my soul rejoice! Take joy my King…in what You hear…Let it be a sweet, sweet, sound in Your ear!

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS,

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME:

I. A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE…

This is a symbol of Jesus Christ!

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The partridge was known as a valiant bird— willing to FIGHT to the DEATH in order to defend it’s young—

He was fighting for you & I at the scourging post—

He was fighting for you & I as He carried that heavy cross up Golgotha’s hill—

He was fighting for you & I as He cried, “IT IS FINISHED!”

Even in the tomb He was fighting for us—

IN 3 DAYS He fought His way out of DEATH’S grip!

This bird’s readiness to DIE for it’s young made it an ancient Christian symbol of Christ!

Jesus still fights for us, even today—

He fights our battles…

He comes to our aid in times of need!

John 10:14-15

“I am the good shepherd…

I lay down my life for the sheep.”

II. TWO TURTLE DOVES…

The 2 turtle doves are the Old & New Testaments or Covenants—

Prior to the 16th century, the common man was not allowed to read the Holy Scriptures for himself.

Historians call this:

“THE DARK AGES”

The Protestant Reformation & Martin Luther changed all of that—

In these two testaments,

God reveals Himself to a lost world!

All through the Bible, He shows us WHO HE IS!

THE WORD OF GOD SAYS:

When we are lonely—He sticks closer than a brother…

When we are sick—He is the God that healeth thee…

Discouraged—He prepares a table before me in the presence of my Enemies—

Adversity—He is a very present help in times of trouble!

That goodness & mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!

THE WORD OF GOD SAYS:

He is the Alpha & the Omega, the first & the last, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Rose of Sharon, the Bright & Morning Star, Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, My Master, My closest Friend, My Teacher, My comforter, My shield, My buckler, My Anchor..

III. THREE FRENCH HENS…

French Hens were very valuable poultry during the 16th century—only the rich could afford them!

These costly birds symbolized the 3 valuable gifts given by the three wise men---

Matthew 2:10-11

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

GOLD—the most valuable commodity in the world today!

FRANKINCENSE—used by Jewish High Priests as they would enter into the Holy of Holies!

MYRRH—expensive spices used for burials!

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM!

IV. FOUR CALLING BIRDS…

These reveal the 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John—

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