Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas and a Little More

HELLO!?!?!? Guess who ran a 5:34 mile today?

Nope. Not this kid who gave me a terrible time during the 5K a few weeks ago. The one who complained all the way except for the few seconds he saw the camera taking his picture. He couldn't have done that. Could he?!

Nope. I'm pretty sure some aliens abducted my child just before the race start today and replaced him with a complete stranger. A stranger who can run a mile in 5:34. Yep. I'm pretty sure that was what happened.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog at hand.....The Twelve Days of Christmas

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. But, the very next day, you gave it away.

Oh no. I got side tracked. We're not talking about Wham on this post. Do over.

Last Christmas, I spied an interesting Christmas card displayed in the office with all of the other company exchanged hooplah that comes through. By hooplah, I mean all of the best, simply generic, and politically correct, 'Happy Holidays' and 'Wishing you the Best New Year' cards that money can buy.

Typically I pass by the array of cards without a second glance. But, this one was different. The guilded Merry Christmas displayed proudly atop the card caught my eye at once. Beneath were 12 cut out circles and behind each was a pictoral representation of the 12 Days of Christmas.

And on the back of the card, I found a story similar to the following.

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.

The Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may sound silly and contrived to many of us. But it actually had its origins in religious symbolism - and with a serious purpose.

It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact.

The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved. Each element is a code word for a religious truth.

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 every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.

2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.

12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.
The song is long. I get that. But, I listen to it differently now. I'll leave you with the best version of the song I could find on YouTube and I'll apologize in advance for what I am about to put you through.

Remember your true love, friends and have a Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

JaeRob said...

Last night they did that song with the real meaning behind it at Tthe Bevil Oaks Baptist Church Christmas thing. I never knew that before....