On the twelfth day of Christmas...
"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die..." John 11. 25
Today, the culmination of our Christmas celebration, points us towards the 12 points of the Apostles Creed which are:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried
He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty
He shall come again to judge the living and the dead
And I believe in the Holy Spirit
The holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints
The forgiveness of sins
The resurrection of the body
And the life everlasting.
This "confession" has endured over many centuries, as a rallying point for Christians of different churches and denominations. Yet it says nothing about Jesus' life on earth, leaping straight from his birth to his death! That is because it was never formulated as a summary of faith but as a corrective to the heresies which dogged the Church in its early years, concerning both the divinity and humanity of Jesus. Such false teachings continue to circulate under different names and so the relevance of the Apostles Creed remains.
If you haven't already made one, why not make learning it your New Year resolution? Let those 12 drummers drum it in...
Now this blog-writer is on holiday for a week, so no more from me until next Tuesday (12 January). But I cannot go without acknowledging the festival of Epiphany, which falls on the day following Twelfth Night (6 January) - ie tomorrow. This delightful occasion celebrates the visit of the Magi and begins a new season in the church calendar, acknowledging that Jesus was as fully God as he was a complete human being. Na beannachdan!