Day 12: January 5: Twelfth Day of Christmas
Throughout the entirety of The Bible, humbleness and truthfulness are recognized as one of the most desirable traits that one can attain. However, what most people fail to realize is that along with these two traits comes great power as well. In today’s passage we see the King of Israel coming from the humble beginnings of the town of Nazareth. In this time period, Nazareth was perceived as being a small town that had never produced anything significant in society, so when Peter tells Nathanael that Jesus of Nazareth is the one that the prophets spoke of, it is reasonable that he would be skeptical of this idea. Not only did Jesus come from a place that was perceived as a lower class town, but he entered our world in the most humble way possible. He came to us in the form of a baby. As the King of all creation, Jesus could have entered the world triumphantly and let all of mankind know that He was here to save, but he did not. The most powerful Person in all of eternity also took on the greatest act of humility. Jesus reveals to Nathanael that he is indeed fully God when he calls him “…an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47). Before the Savior even meets Nathanael, He knows him, just like He knows us in our dead and sinful ways before we even know Him. Interestingly enough, another Nathanael is mentioned in the Old Testament who is similar to the Nathanael in this passage. In 2 Samuel 12, Nathanael is the person who confronts David about his sins committed with Bathsheba. The literal translation of the name Nathanael means “a gift from God,” which shows that speaking truth is a gift
of God’s revelation. I personally do not think it was just a coincidence that two people who have no deceit in their voice share a name that signifies that truth is a blessing. This story from John 1 truly ties into what The Twelfth Day of Christmas is all about: bearing witness to Truth. And Jesus Christ is the ultimate Truth, He is the King of Glory who ascends the throne of his cross so that humanity can be free from the powers of sin, death, and the devil that have enslaved them for so long.
Prayer of the Day:
“Dear Lord, I pray that as we go through this time of Christmas and joy that we will not be overcome with the desires of this world and we will remember how truly amazing the miracle of your life is. May this season be filled with joy, laughter, community, and also reverence. Thank you for sending your Son to us in the most humble form possible, which was the form of a baby. I pray that we minister The Word to everyone surrounding us and that we glorify you in everything we do. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
The Twelfth Day of Christmas is Epiphany Eve, which is the day before the season of Epiphany
begins. Epiphany is essentially a season and time to remember that Jesus is fully God and the most powerful person in all of eternity. One fun thing that many people like to do on this day is bake a fruit cake and place various objects in it that have different meanings. Looking for these objects corresponds in a fun way to looking in our world for places where the divinity of Christ breaks through. The fruitcake tradition works in this way: Different objects get baked into the cake, and then if someone gets a piece of the cake and it has a bean in it, then they are the king or queen and everyone has to do what they say. However if someone were to get the piece of a cake with a twig in it, then they are considered to be the fool for the night. Although it may seem like a silly tradition, many people in England find great joy in this. Another thing to do to celebrate Epiphany Eve is to sing a song. One of the best songs to sing to remember this season is “We Three Kings” because it symbolizes the wise men coming and bearing gifts, recognizing that Jesus is Lord of all.