The Eleventh Day of Christmas
Scripture Reading: Genesis 30:24 She named him Joseph, (Joseph means may he add.) and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."
Luke 2:21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
Reflection: Each of us as well as each place we live or visit have one thing in common. What is it? All people and places have NAMES. Have you ever asked yourself, “What does my name mean?” or “Where did my name come from?” Names are important to God. God sent an angel to Joseph for the purpose of giving a specific name for God’s Only Begotten Son. The name Joseph was given to give to the Only Begotten Son, was Jesus (a transliteration of Yeshua). The name "Jesus" means "Savior."
Almost two thousand years before Jesus was born, Rachel gave birth to Joseph. It is important to remember that Joseph was Jacob’s eleventh son. The number eleven in Scripture speaks to incompleteness. If ten is the number which marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. So that whether we regard it as being 10 + 1, or 12 - 1, it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.
With the birth of Joseph there were eleven sons of Jacob. The Eleventh son brought about the disintegration and disorganization in Jacob's family, which made it possible for it to be said "one is not." For this reason our Scripture reading tells us that the name of Joseph means “may he add.” Jacob and Rachel wanted a twelfth son thus asking God to add to the number by giving their son his name.
The distance from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea was measured in days traveled instead of distance. Deuteronomy 1 tells us that Israel’s journey took eleven days. One more day would have carried them to the complete administration of all the Promised Land which God had given them. Sadly, the distance they traveled brought them to doubt, fear, unbelief, disorder and destruction.
If our carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, speaks to “ten lords a-leaping” as representative of the Ten Commandments; then the “eleven pipers piping” represent the eleven apostles who witnessed the disintegration of the group and the disorder due to the deceit and treason of Judas (the twelfth).
Finally, Jesus taught a parable in Matthew 20 about the kingdom of heaven being like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. In that parable, Jesus used the idea of the eleventh hour as being contrary to what is right in order and arrangement. All of today’s passages speak to our need to finish and press toward completion. Other verses encourage us to do the same:
Colossians 4:17, Tell Archippus: "See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord."
2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Christmas Eve is Christmas incomplete. Christmas is not about Mary being with child, but giving birth to the One Child, God’s Son. Jesus, like Joseph, was the Son to whom God would add other sons. Because God gave His Only Begotten Son, to we who believe in and on Him, we have been given power to become the Sons of God. (John 1:12) The Lord desires to add to our lives. He desires to use our lives to bless, encourage and add value to others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being born, living life and then giving Your life for me. Because You came I have become a son of God. I pray that You will fill me and make me complete with all joy and peace during this Christmas season. Fill me to overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Cause me to be full of Your grace, Your goodness and Your glory. Make me complete in You and cause my life to inspire and instruct others. In Your Name. Amen