My church here in Delaware did a church-wide Bible study over the fall months.
It was called "Unshakable Hope," and honestly speaking, if anyone needed some unshakable hope this holiday season, it was yours truly.
Suffice it to say, I didn't end up attending the 12-week Bible study. Why? A variety of reasons. I was tired — a newly single mom trying to keep up with the daily rigors of raising two children under the age of 13. Basically, I had other "more pressing" matters to attend to: Engaging in the daily grind of school runs, work, more school runs, dinner, and bedtime. Being on autopilot takes up a lot more attention span than it used to, or something.
Turns out my reasons were nothing more than excuses, and I realized shortly after the study wrapped that I missed out on something significant.
I attended church on Sunday, where the pastors recapped the series and flipped it, using God's 12 unshakable promises as the premise for a rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas."
I will now present that to you, courtesy of a country church who knows what's really going on.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love (Jesus) gave to me:
Incredible eternal dignity (Genesis 1:26)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Triumph over evil (Romans 16:20)
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A grand inheritance (Romans 8:17)
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Prayers that have great power (James 5:16)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Grace for the humble (1 Peter 5:5)
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Holy understanding (Hebrews 4:15)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
An advocate in heaven (Romans 8:34)
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:54)
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory."
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Joy every morning (Psalm 30:5)
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Holy Spirit power (Acts 1:8)
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
No condemnation (Romans 8:1)
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus[.]"
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Justice in all matters (Acts 17:31)
"For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."
No matter what your season has been like, God's unshakable promises are gift enough for Christmas, and I encourage you to meditate on these verses beginning on Christmas day and ending on Jan. 6, 2020 — which is Epiphany.
Here's a photo of me and my younger brother when I was just 7 years old in 1990.
No matter what comes and goes this holiday season or during any holiday seasons to come, may nobody or nothing steal the joyfully weird, slightly manic twinkle in your eye — ever.
Image source: Courtesy of Sarah Taylor at Blaze Media
All Bible verses courtesy of Bible Gateway.