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Monday, December 5, 2016

12042016 - Second Sunday in Advent - "10 Lord's a Leaping"

December 4, 2016
10 Lord’s a Leaping
Clearly anyone, including myself do not like when we are driving to see in our rear view mirror the blue and red lights of either a highway patrolman or a county sheriff.  But, these dedicated professionals have been given the responsibility to keep our highways and byways safe.  In fact, they are an extension of and a current expression of God’s gift to the Israelite people that are even connected to the 12 Day’s of Christmas Song.  For these servants who wear the uniform enforce the ‘law’ of the land.
Since we began Advent we have heard about the 12 Drummers, 11 Pipers and today we join and sing about the “10 Lord’s a Leaping”.  The “10 Lord’s a Leaping” connects the Children of Israel, with us today, because the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” refers to the ‘law’ found in the 10 Commandments.  Some people see the 10 Commandments as the ‘rule book’ for life.  The 10 Commandments are not just ‘law’ or what we are not ‘to do’.  But as Luther would say, the 10 Commandments are a guide for our lives.  What is more interesting is that the 12 Day’s of Christmas song clearly places a different understanding on the 10 Commandments than we are used to with the phrase the “10 Lord’s a Leaping”.
We naturally think of the Law as detrimental and holding it over others heads, whether those who work on the farm, in the stores or even here in the church.  This clearly is a mentality of ownership, domination and being the boss or the owner.  Yet, Jesus Christ died for all and set us free from this ‘ownership’ and even the song the 12 Days of Christmas reorients our understanding of the Law to a way that isn’t legalistic, but coaxes and even encourages us to change our mentality and our actions to a positive way.
You see, the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” keeps the perspective of the importance of the 10 individual Commandments, but notice the action associated with those ‘Lord’s’.  The Lord’s are ‘leaping’.  Think of it this way, when do you see children leaping, when they are happy.  So to the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” is a radical shift that the ‘Lord’s’ are happy.  The ‘Lord’s’ are thankful for the gift given from God to help steer, direct and guide their lives and especially the lives of the Israelite people.  So clear is this joy of the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” that in their leaping, it is because of the clear demonstration of God to give the gift that is found in the 10 Commandments that are fully and perfectly fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
We normally don’t think of the 10 Commandments in a joyful way or joyful tone or even as a gift.  And this is one reason why the 12 Days of Christmas Song can reorient our understanding of the 10 Commandments and introduce others to Jesus Christ.  For the 12 Days of Christmas Song and specifically the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” can help others to understand and believe and live the grace filled side rather than the legalistic side or dictatorial side.  For the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” can inspire us to look not with ‘legalistic’ fervor, but with the joy of a child for the gift that God has given us in the 10 Commandments.
For God’s gift of the 10 Commandments was out of His great love for each and every one of us.  God wanted us to understand that these Commandments were not to be the ‘albatross’ around our necks, but for us to reorient our understanding and celebrate their gift to us from God with joy.  You see the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” see, understand and have as a goal and the result our entrance into the Kingdom of God.  Not ‘Lording’ it over anyone, but insuring all of mankind not only hears the Gospel message of what Jesus Christ did, but to help us understand fully that Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the 10 Commandments in His perfectly following each and every commandment.  In Jesus Christ death on Calvary for all of mankind.  And finally with Jesus Christ resurrection on the Third Day.  And with Jesus Christ fulfilling the 10 Commandments, we can be like the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” and know we are not only included, but welcomed into the Kingdom of God, because of what Jesus Christ did on Calvary for all of mankind.
Jesus Christ willingly went to Calvary out of His great love for all of mankind.  So clearly we can be like the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” and ‘leap in joy’ and celebrate what Jesus Christ was willing to give to us, eternal life.  This is why the 12 Days of Christmas Song, not only is a beautiful song and melody, but a great tool for an introduction to the Gospel message, and how it can model for us what a life of gratitude and joy we can have for God’s gift to us.

During this Advent season let’s resolve to change, reorient our lives and actions, like Thom Rainer’s book, “I Will” inspired us to do and celebrate the greatest gift of mankind, found in Jesus Christ becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  For what the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” celebrate by their leaping and joy doesn’t stop with the connection with the 10 Commandments, but follows through to the birth of Jesus Christ.  And this is why the “10 Lord’s are a Leaping” as we sing the 12 Days of Christmas that connect us with an unmistakable truth.  The truth that Jesus Christ came to offer us eternal life.  And the “10 Lord’s a Leaping” not only inspire us like cheerleaders in this the journey of life, but help us to understand our active role celebrating with them of what Jesus Christ overcame for each and every one of us.  Let’s join together and let this be a season of joy and celebration and inspire others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our singing the 12 Days of Christmas song in joyful celebration with the “10 Lord’s a Leaping”.  AMEN.

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