😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace and presence be with you. MERRY CHRISTMAS! You may be over this Christmas season, but in reality, we are only on day 5 of 12. So….that means it’s 5 Gold Rings day. The 12 days of Christmas starts on Christmas day and runs through January 6th, which is the Epiphany aka the day the three wise men arrive to honor the Lord. The 12 days of Christmas really are a special time in the Christian community and within the Catholic community we celebrate multiple feast and holy days. Today we are going to dive into the Christian meaning of the 12 Christmas gifts on the 12 days of Christmas. Let’s see if you know them all.
A Partridge in a Pear Tree.
The partridge in a pear tree represents Jesus, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on the first day of Christmas. Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge, the only bird that will die to protect its young.
These twin birds represent the Old and New Testaments. So in this gift, the singer finds the complete story of the Christian faith and God’s plan for the world. The doves are the biblical roadmap that is available to everyone.
Three French Hens.
These birds represent faith, hope, and love. This gift hearkens back to 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter written by the Apostle Paul.
Four Calling Birds.
One of the easiest facets of the song’s code to figure out, these fowl are the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Five Gold Rings.
The gift of the rings represents the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch.
Six Geese a-Laying.
These lyrics can be traced back to the first story found in the Bible. Each egg is a day in creation, a time when the world was “hatched” or formed by God.
Seven Swans a-Swimming.
It would take someone quite familiar with the Bible to identify this gift. Hidden in the code are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion. As swans are one of the most beautiful and graceful creatures on earth, they would seem to be a perfect symbol for the spiritual gifts.
As Christ came to save even the lowest of the low, this gift represents the ones who would receive his word and accept his grace. Being a milkmaid was about the worst job one could have in England during this period; this code conveyed that Jesus cared as much about servants as he did those of royal blood. The eight who were blessed included the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The beatitudes.
Nine Ladies Dancing.
These nine dancers were really the gifts known as the fruit of the Spirit. The fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Ten Lords a-leaping.
This is probably the easiest gift to understand. As lords were judges and in charge of the law, this code for the Ten Commandments was fairly straightforward to Catholics.
Eleven Pipers Piping.
This is almost a trick question, as most think of the disciples in terms of the dozen. But when Judas betrayed Jesus and committed suicide, there were only eleven men who carried out the gospel message.
Twelve Drummers Drumming.
The final gift is tied directly to the Catholic Church. The drummers are the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed. “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”
If you already knew this, I hope it was a good reminder. If this is new to you, I hope every time you hear this song it will prompt you to pause and remember. Today’s video isn’t the best quality, but I do enjoy the Muppets. I hope you enjoy this as well.
Bless others and be blessed.
If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others. Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.
#JohnDenver&The Muppets – 12 Days of Christmas