The 12th Day of Christmas
Deuteronomy 11:18-21You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
By the time we get to the 'Twelve Drummers Drumming' in the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' we pretty much feel like we know this song. Repetition has a way of doing that. It's why we teach our children to parrot 'Please' and 'Thank you' when they are young. Not because we are raising our children to be parrots, but because we are raising them to be civil, and have such actions become second nature to them.
It was the same for ancient Israel, God's first born, who was called to image God to the other nations. He had to hammer away at the basic truths of the covenant He made with his people, so that his children would have it encoded in their hearts and souls, and the faith would not be a one-generation wonder, but rather a heritage for all times and all peoples and all places.
For the same reason, the Church drums into us the Twelve Articles of the Apostle's Creed so that it will be second nature to us and so that, when we are gone, our children will carry the torch of faith to their children and their children's children until King Jesus returns. May the Christ-child enter our hearts anew to prepare us to walk through the death of Good Friday to the Life of the Resurrection!
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Note: I am blessed to be receiving one of these reflections, from a deacon friend, each day. He tells me he doesn't know their source but makes simple edits as he deems necessary. Do you know the original source? Please share if you do.