Friday, December 18, 2015


This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12 (NAS)

Each year tucked away on a little twelve-house court, neighbors display a lighted version of The Twelve Days of Christmas on their front lawns.  When our children were small we enjoyed driving through the court singing the song at the top of our lungs. Although it was a cherished part of our holiday tradition, I wondered what this carol had to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

After some research, I was excited to find each symbol had a Christian-based meaning. Although there is debate as to the origins of this idea, some believe several centuries ago in England, Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith. They made up a song with secret signs for all the elements children needed to remember for catechism. The "true love" mentioned in the song lyrics was, of course, Jesus and His great love for us. The partridge in a pear tree would also represent Jesus, crucified on a tree. Two turtle doves were reminders of the Old and New Testaments, as the three French hens symbolized faith, hope and love. Four calling birds stood for the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each successive verse edified another facet of the Christian faith.

I am so thankful each year for traditions such a nativity scenes, children’s reenactments of the Christmas story, scripture readings and carols that remind us of the true love that came to earth that starry Bethlehem night.

Father, I am so thankful for the freedom to express our Christian faith in America. I pray we will boldly exercise our privilege this season by sharing the beautiful love story of Jesus with others. Amen.

© 2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

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