“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
12 drummers drumming,
11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 Swans a Swimming, 6 Geese a Laying
5 Gold–en Rings
4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”
12 drummers drumming represents 12 basic Christian truths found in the Apostle’s Creed. A creed is a statement of faith, of what we believe and the principles that guide our life. It is called “Apostle’s” because this is a statement that has been said by Christians from the time of the original followers of Christianity. Perhaps the authors of this song included it last because it reviews the gifts that came before and has been the drum to which we have walked for two millennium. It is appropriate that we remember those principles we live by. They are like the beating of our heart. They are the truths that guide our lives as Christians.
- God is not only our powerful Creator but is also our caring Father. He is True Love.
- Jesus Christ is Lord. He is the partridge, one of a kind.
- Jesus miraculously became incarnate by the Holy Spirit through Mary. The partridge sits in a pear tree, certainly Mary, but also representing his incarnation and becoming true man/true God.
- Jesus suffered, was crucified by the Romans in the first century, and died. 4 calling birds. Details of Jesus’ life and ministry are found in the four Gospels that have called out the truth of the God/man’s character.
- Jesus rose from the dead. 5 Golden Rings: the law was fulfilled in the death of Christ. Death no longer must control us.
- Jesus ascended into heaven and is exalted. 6 geese a laying – the whole creation is redeemed and life goes on.
- Jesus will return in judgment. 7 swans swimming, the gifts of the Spirit that identifies the talents we are entrusted with.
- The Holy Spirit is a person of the Holy Trinity. 8 geese a laying reminds us of creation and the Trinity hovering and continuing to bring forth life.
- The church is universal. 9 ladies dancing – we live and dance with each other, celebrating the gifts of self and other.
- There is a fellowship of Christians across all times and places. 10 Lords leaping are the commandments that apply to all people so that we can live in harmony.
- Our sins are truly and really forgiven in Christ. 11 pipers piping are the faithful Apostles who carried the story that we are truly forgiven and Christ changes lives.
- Our bodies will be resurrected. Heaven is real. 12 drummers drumming – let us keep the message going – resurrection now and for eternity is real.
This is one of my favorite renditions of the Creed. Listen and be blessed.
It is also sung beautifully by Maranatha singers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdU4Kbn3B3M.
Monday we will start a new series. Blessings as we enter Epiphany season!