It's that time again! Every year, I do a Christmas ornament swap with a group of artist friends. Usually, it's done over the first 12 days of December but this year, there are 13 of us. In the past, I've included descriptions of the meaning behind the 12 days of Christmas, which actually occur beginning with Christmas and go to Epiphany on January 6th. This year, I thought I'd do something a little different and do some research on each of the 12 apostles of Jesus. If you'd like to see my past posts on the 12 days, and past ornaments (they're fabulous!), click here and here and scroll through the December posts.
Our first day of Christmas ornament is brought to you by the super talented...
...you guessed it...Danita! I admit it, I love absolutely everything this girl does. She is a gifted painter and transforms her paintings into any number of gorgeous works; delightful canvases, enchanting stuffed dolls, beautiful jewelry, tiny boxes and trimmings...all wonderful and whimsical in typical Danita style.
For this year's swap, Danita brought all her considerable skills together into this sweet pipe cleaner doll...yes!...pipe cleaners! I'm telling you, the woman can make a work of art from anything.
I fell in love with my adorable doll the moment I set eyes on her. She looks so sophisticated with Danita's signature style face, and yet so vintage with her crepe paper dress. Soon, she'll be dancing with my other artsy ornaments on my special Christmas art tree.
Can you believe, Christmas is almost here again?! Like I said, for this year's ornament swap, I'll be posting about the 12 apostles of Christ. The 12 are sometimes referred to as "disciples," meaning pupils, learners or followers. They are also known as "apostles" which means "one who is sent out." The 12 were chosen by Jesus and are listed in the Bible in the book of Matthew, chapter 10: These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Simon, a simple fisherman, was re-named Cephas (Peter or Petra, meaning "rock"), by Christ, to show that he would become the foundation, or rock, upon which the Christian church...the followers of Christ...would be built. Peter is one of my favorite apostles because of his passion and humanity. Jesus named him, not for what he was, but what he would become, by God's grace. Before Christ's death, Peter was often impulsive and emotional. Peter is the one who, during the arrest of Jesus, passionately drew his sword and sliced off the ear of the servant of the arresting high priest in an attempt to protect Jesus (John 18:10-11.) He is also the one who vehemently swore his loyalty to Christ before Christ's arrest and crucifixion (Matthew 26:31-35.) He loved Christ dearly...and yet, just as vehemently, he denied him three times after the arrest, then wept bitterly with regret (Matthew 26:69-75.) And yet, in the book of Acts, Peter is, indeed, a founder and pillar of the early Christian church. According to Christian tradition and/or early historians, Peter died a martyr for Christ, by crucifixion. By his own request, he was crucified head down as he deemed himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his beloved Master.