12 days of love

December 22, 2010

OK I found this neat  little tidbit at http://www.carols.org.uk/the_twelve_days_of_christmas.htm

1 True Love refers to God
2 Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the sacraments
8 Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming refers to the points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

I have no idea if those sentiments were on the mind of the composer – this song goes way, way back, originating in France some four hundred years ago.  Before I saw the theological implications listed above I actually though of trying to come up with a list of my own.  My true love is usually thought of as Diane, but MY TRUE LOVE is God, and every good and perfect gift comes from him.  So whether it is our daily bread (or turtle doves or geese a laying) of my prosperity (gold rings, milk maids and lords) It all comes from my True Love.  I never really sang the song thinking about it like that.

Funny Christmas memory:  When I was a kid, 3rd or 4th grade, I was in a school musical version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Being the tallest kid in the class that year, I was in the very center of the drum line.  My parents had bought me a drum, that looked like it was for a three-year old, it was tiny.  I was soooo disappointed.  I knew the got what they could afford, and they bought a “child’s drum” without thinking about my size or anything else.  I figured I was stuck with it.  Well, one of my siblings smashed it, I don’t remember how.  But dad had to go out and try to find another one at the last minute….literally minutes before leaving for school, and he came home with the coolest drum I had ever seen.  Its  a wonder I didn’t go on to become someone like Buddy Rich, Mick Fleetwood or Phil Collins.
I know it was a sacrifice for my father to buy that drum, and it was an act of love as well .   As I  have gotten older I have learned that many, many acts of love are also acts of sacrifice.  These are lessons learned as a beneficiary of love more than as a provider.  I am grateful.

So sing The Twelve Days of Christmas, and think of those you love.  And those who love you.  And Him who died for you. 

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