On the 7th Day of Christmas

7-swans-a-swimming.jpg

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." - Romans 12:6-8
-
"To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines." - 1 Corinthians 12:8-11

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.

Prayer: 
Lord, we still carol the wonderful message, huddled beneath winter caps on snow-covered porches, or from churches, led by enthusiastic musicians or choir members. Yet we confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true? Help us to find in You the peace and hope and joy, that You have longed since the beginning of time, that we should have. Amen.
Date: 
Dec 31 2018