Twelve Days of Christmas
December 28, 2018
Do you know we’re in the middle of the twelve days of Christmas? You’ve probably heard the song and wondered what some of the phrases meant. One tradition holds that the song, written in the 16th century in Great Britain, had hidden meanings that helped Catholics learn about their faith during a time when there were religious wars and religion could not be easily and openly practiced. A “partridge in a pear tree” was Jesus (the “true love” born on Christmas Day) who was willing to sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young by feigning injury to draw away predators.
At Soul Station on December 26, Pastor Evy talked about this symbolism and the twelve days of Christmas. No one knows for sure if the song actually contained this code or was simply a secular song. It reminded me that Christmas is more than a day, and that our Christmas symbols and traditions like light, gift giving, sharing special foods, and singing carols have more depth than their surface meanings. These symbols are a way for us to learn more about our faith and inspire us to live it more fully. For example, we give gifts because God gave us the gift of Jesus…our true love!
Today is the fourth day of Christmas, four calling birds. In the song it might mean the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As we begin to shift from 2018 to the new year, the worship and sermon series for 2019 comes to mind: What the Bible Really Says About… We’ll be looking at some common and not-so-common passages and themes throughout 2019, beginning on January 13.
This Sunday, December 30, we mark the end of the 2018 by talking about The Way of Love…God’s Plan Through Jesus.
The twelve days of Christmas end just before Epiphany, January 6, when we’ll remember the coming of the magi to Jesus and his family. For now it’s good for me to recall that Christmas is not just a day. In fact, it’s not just a season, but a way of life, remembering that God brings the new life of Jesus to us all the time.
Christmas blessings, Sharon