Merry eleventh day of Christmas!
The Christmas season, or Christmastide, doesn’t actually begin until Christmas Day, lasting for the next twelve days until the Feast of Epiphany, on January 6, and celebrating the Incarnation: “God With Us”! These are the days referred to in the popular Christmas carol. So, we’re celebrating each day with a short explanation and thought. If you’re coming into the series late, click here to start with the first day.
Here’s day eleven:
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me eleven pipers piping…
Do you remember the story of the pied piper? When the children heard his song, they followed him! The twelve apostles followed Jesus…but only eleven of them followed faithfully. They, in turn, traveled everywhere pronouncing the “song” of the gospel, and many people listened and also followed Jesus. So, the eleven pipers represent the eleven faithful apostles.
I love these quotes about the apostles:
I have always been fascinated with the lives of the twelve apostles. Who isn’t? The personality types of these men are familiar to us. They are just like us, and they are like other people we know. They are approachable. They are real and living characters we can identify with. Their faults and foibles, as well as their triumphs and endearing features, are chronicled in some of the most fascinating accounts of the Bible. These are men we want to know. That’s because they were perfectly ordinary men in every way. Not one of them was renowned for scholarship or great erudition. They had no track record as orators or theologians. In fact, they were outsiders as far as the religious establishment of Jesus’ day was concerned. They were not outstanding because of any natural talents or intellectual abilities. On the contrary, they were all too prone to mistakes, misstatements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith, and bitter failure – no one more so than the leader of the group, Peter. Even Jesus remarked that they were slow learners and somewhat spiritually dense (Luke 24:25).
Yet with all their faults and character flaws – as remarkably ordinary as they were – these men carried on a ministry after Jesus’ ascension that left an indelible impact on the world. Their ministry continues to influence us even today. God graciously empowered and used these men to inaugurate the spread of the gospel message and to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Ordinary men – people like you and me – became the instruments by which Christ’s message was carried to the ends of the earth. No wonder they are such fascinating characters. John MacArthur
I do not know what you feel, but I never cease to be grateful to these disciples. I am grateful for the record of every mistake they ever made, and for every blunder they ever committed, because I see myself in them. How grateful we should be to God that we have these Scriptures, how grateful to Him that He has not merely given us the gospel and left it at that. How wonderful it is that we can read accounts like this and see ourselves depicted in them, and how grateful we should be to God that it is a divinely inspired Word which speaks the truth, and shows and pictures every human frailty. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
It’s so encouraging how God used these ordinary, average men! If He could use them to turn the world upside down, surely He can use me somehow!
The John MacArthur quote comes from his book Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped the Disciples For Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You. I haven’t read it, but I think I’d like to, and the Kindle edition is only $2.99!
Just one more day! Any ideas what the twelve drummers represent? This one shouldn’t be hard to figure out!
Read the entire series here:
- The Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany: Celebrating “God With Us”
- Day One: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
- Day Two: Two Turtle Doves
- Day Three: Three French Hens
- Day Four: Four Calling Birds
- Day Five: Five Golden Rings
- Day Six: Six Geese A-Laying
- Day Seven: Seven Swans A-Swimming
- Day Eight: Eight Maids A-Milking
- Day Nine: Nine Ladies Dancing
- Day Ten: Ten Lords A-Leaping
- Day Eleven: Eleven Pipers Piping
- Day Twelve: Twelve Drummers Drumming
- Epiphany is Here!