Did you know that there is an opinion, among Christians, that the 12 days of Christmas song has Christian meaning? Well, I did some digging around on the internet. It’s very interesting! There were lots of opinions in favor of Christian meaning, and against it. Go figure. I’m in favor. Maybe you all knew this but it is new to me! In the years around this song’s creation, a period between 1558 and 1829, it was a crime to be Catholic in England. Catholics were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law-private or public. It was written to teach the tennants of faith in song, wrather than written form, to avoid punishment. In the song, Christ is symbolic of the mother partridge, and the other symbols are as follows:
2 Turtle doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French hens = faith, hope and charity-the theological virtues
4 Calling birds = the four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which relays the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation
7 Swans a swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed
Another sourse mentioned that the 12 days represent the day after Christ’s birth, up to when the Wise Men actually reached baby Jesus.
This gives me alot to consider. If we ever encounter this kind of persecution, which the bible tells us will come for Christians, then we will need some of these subtle tools. Can you imagine not being able to teach from the bible itself? Not being allowed to have one? I want to cherish my religious freedom more, and to dig deeper into the truths of God’s Word now because I can.
What does this have to do with orphan care? Little and much. Jesus came to redeem His people Israel…..and unless you are Jewish, that is not your inheritance. You, and I, are grafted in, adopted in, because we can help Jesus and be called His sons and daughters. I am adopted into my heavenly inheritance and I want to learn about the rich history of my adopted family, which includes the persecution of Christians and the tenacity of the Lord to insist that His Word be shared no matter what. I love serving this God, that will break through ignorance and legalism, and do it with music, do it with “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me……”. The same God that calls us to care for the widow and the orphan, to set the captives free, to bring sons and daughters into families…..this God authors music that imparts truth in the face of opposition. that. is. what. it. has. to. do. with. it.