Saturday, December 12, 2009

Twelve Days and Doctrine

This is my second year listening to The Daily Audio Bible. Of course we are in Revelation on those podcasts and recently Brian Hardin commented that the study of Revelation is a lifelong pursuit. Yep, Brian, Revelation and eschatology will be a life-long pursuit. I thought within 2009 I would have arrived at a viewpoint and it hasn't happened. Granted that my study has been interupted by other projects, lack of dialogue on this blog, but no firm conclusion as yet.

There is an interesting story of the origin of the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It seems that in England from 1558 to 1829 Catholics were prohibited from practicing their religion. The story goes that an Irish priest penned the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" to serve as a catechism for Catholic youngsters, with "gifts" really referring to Catholic teachings and the true love being God Himself and "me" being baptized Catholics. Here is the symbolism in the song according to this story:

  • A partridge in a pear tree refers to Christ who once likened Himself to a hen wishing to shelter chicks under its wings.
  • Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

  • Three French hens are faith, hope and charity, theological virtues.

  • Four calling birds are the four gospels.

  • Five golden rings are the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, which gives the history of man's fall from grace.

  • Six geese a-laying are the six days of creation.

  • Seven swans a-swimming are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments. (We Reformed/Evangelicals have two--communion and baptism.)

  • Eight maids a-milking stands for the eight beatitudes.

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

  • Ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

  • Eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful apostles.
  • Twelve drummers drumming are the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.

Meanwhile some Reformed dudes got together and made their own twelve days of doctrine, which is absolutely hilarious.

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