Welcome to Monday Moments, 12 Days of Christmas style. If you missed the first one yesterday, check last evening’s in-box. Today, it’s a current cultural version of “Eleven Piper’s Piping…”

The “Twelve Days of Christmas,” before it was a song, or a children’s book, or a tradition, or a rhyme, …it started as a memory-and-forfeit game in Europe. When your number came, you had to repeat the rhyme for the number. The larks with each number – today’s is Piper’s Piping – were harmless, and legal. But at a time when it was illegal to discuss the Christian religion in public or teach it, the game was used by parents to teach their children the tenets of faith as each number symbolized something strong and sacred about their Christian foundations.

Today, “Eleven” was to symbolize the Eleven Faithful Disciples.

What is a “disciple?” Two connotations from its Latin, Aramaic and Greek roots are that a disciple is a “Learner” and a “Follower.” It is a fascinatingly intricate word in that the Learning is “to grasp intellectually and analyze thoroughly,” and the Following is “one who follows or is influenced by the message or example of another.” In other words, a disciple of faith is one who analyzes it thoroughly, doesn’t take it lightly or naively, considers it reflectively, and chooses to follow by faith. As one long-time dear wise friend said to me years ago, “Faith holds on to what reason has accepted, and does not allow doubts to master us.”

The original disciples of Jesus were regular guys: small businessmen, accountants, siblings, salesmen, fishermen and a doctor. If Jesus were to have come today, he would invite fisherpeople, as they wouldn’t all be men. Who would He be calling? They would be “learner/followers,” or “learner/believers.” As people of faith, we never learn it all, but we’re all in on what we’ve learned.

Last night, a modern day disciple named Baker Mayfield – a man of faith who plays football – led a miracle comeback (and a Rams’ win) only 36 hours after his plane landed and he joined the team. He was literally learning the plays through the microphone in his helmet while he was calling them at the line of scrimmage and then throwing passes. Highlights are everywhere online if you’d like to look. After the game came the words of a disciple – a Learner and a Follower – in real time. The press asked how he pulled off the miracle, their words not his, and here’s what he said at the podium: “I’m thankful. I just prayed about it. It worked out. A lot of emotions, I’m really really blessed tonight. I’m really thankful right now…guys helped me do the crash course here. I’m thankful. …obviously we’d all like to be a little more stress-free, but it’s a pretty damn good story. It’s special. …Definitely my first rodeo doin’ that.”

I was impressed by his gratitude (you’ve heard me call that ThanksLiving) and his humility. He gave God the credit, and thanked his teammates. He wasn’t preaching, just sharing his real emotions in real time. Those who know football know that he’s still learning about both football and faith and life and the business of football. On this night, his new team was bear-hug-drowning-smothering him in the locker room after he won the game ball. He gave a speech, thanked God, dropped some excitable F-bombs and was a happy happy guy. He’s not perfect. He’s still learning.

On this 2nd day, the day of the Eleven Pipers Piping, let’s be encouraged that the disciples, in their way and in their time, were a bunch o’ Baker Mayfields. They were good at what they did, had a long way to go, and were learning from Jesus as they followed Him, knowing it was the right direction but not having it figured out. Sound familiar? …It does to me.

Continued Christ-mas season blessings on ya, see you tomorrow for Day #3, The Ten… -D

Dec. 8 Twelve…Points of Belief.
Dec. 9 Eleven…Faithful Disciples.
Dec. 10 Ten…
Dec. 11 Nine Fruits…
Dec. 12 Eight…
Dec. 13 Seven Gifts…
Dec. 14 Six…
Dec. 15 Five…
Dec. 16 Four Gospel Versions.
Dec. 17 Three Merry Marys.
Dec. 18 Two…
Dec. 19 One…


Brian Wells, Speaker
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