I've been listening to Christmas CDs all day. It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and I guess I'm having trouble letting go. But Christmas gives way to the season of Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the Magi, those mysterious Wise Men - more about them later. Epiphany lasts until Lent so we have plenty of time to ponder the Magi.
The Twelfth Day is supposed to remind us of the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed. I admit that I had to google "the twelve points of belief." I memorized the Apostles' Creed when I was a child, but nobody ever separated it into twelve parts for me. Here it is, compliments of an ecumenical website:
1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord,
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell.
5. The third day he rose again from the dead;
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
7. From there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,
10. The forgiveness of sins,
11. The resurrection of the body,
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
I think this division into twelve parts is a good idea. It seems like it would make the creed easier to memorize. Just keep in mind that part four is not the same in all churches. Some churches omit the "He descended into hell" part.
I'll begin packing away the Christmas decorations this week. Maybe I'll let the Magi figurines and their camels hang out on the mantle a little bit longer while I think about them and their mission. To be continued . . .