“On the eleventh day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me . . .  eleven Pipers piping . . . ”

In his earthly ministry, as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ walked about and made God’s plan a reality for us all, he chose Twelve. These Twelve walked with him, following him, soaking in his every word and deed. Learning. Expecting. Believing. One of the Twelve did the unthinkable – Judas Iscariot not only denied and abandoned Jesus (as all the others did in his hour of most need), but he also betrayed the Lord into the hands of those who desired Christ’s destruction. All of this was part of the plan that would provide salvation for those of us to follow.

But our Pipers, who play the song of Truth for all of history to hear and then sing, are the Eleven who returned–those who remained faithful following the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. The Eleven are those who received the Great Commission just prior to Jesus ascension, and bear for us an example and a message to carry on. (Please take note that the aforementioned Judas Iscariot is excluded for the reasons stated, but also that his replacement, a disciple named Matthias, is also excluded–this allows us to keep the number at eleven.)

Named (from Luke’s account of the Gospel) they are:

  1. Simon, called Peter (so renamed by Christ because of the disciple’s faith),
  2. Andrew, his brother,
  3. James, the son of Zebedee (one of the Sons of Thunder),
  4. John, his brother, “the Disciple that Jesus Loved,”
  5. Philip, who led an Ethiopian Eunuch to Christ on a barren road, and thus paving the way for an entire nation to hear the message of Salvation,
  6. Bartholomew,
  7. Matthew, also known as Levi, a tax collector,
  8. Thomas, who needed proof (much like Christians today),
  9. James, the son of Alphaeus,
  10. Simon, the Zealot, and
  11. Judas, the son of James.

Let us be disciples in their fashion, sharing Jesus to the ends of the earth.