On the 10th Day of Christmas

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The Ten Commandments
"And God spoke all these words: 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." - Exodus 20:1-17

The popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children with secular origins. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction, perhaps dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Christian Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to those who are a part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

Whether the song was used as a catechism or not, the religious meanings behind this Christmas Carol, warm my heart and remind me who this season is all about!

So, let's sing the song and learn what each verse is all about . . .

The 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree.

True love = God, and Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus Christ on the Tree (cross)

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testament (Old and New Covenant)

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Three French Hens = The Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love - 1 Corinthians 13:13.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Four Calling Birds = The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Five Gold Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Six Geese A-laying = The six days of creation that confess that God is Creator and Sustainer of the world, from Genesis 1.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Seven Swans A-swimming = The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion, from Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Eight Maids A-milking = The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, from Matthew 5:3-10.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Nine Ladies Dancing = The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ten Lords A-leaping = The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

Prayer: 
Lord, Your name is still called “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” and “The Prince of Peace.” As Your children, we cry out for a fresh filling, and a new awareness of Who You are. We choose by faith to make the “good news of great joy” a reality in our own lives, so others can see us as lighted trees of life, pointing to You this Christmas. We know one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that You are Lord. And we also know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. You are no longer a babe in the manger. You are Lord of lords and King of kings. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always. Amen.
Date: 
Jan 3 2019