“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me . . . twelve drummers drumming . . .”

And so we come to day twelve (I hope you have enjoyed this simple, songly trek with me) and look for twelve things to bring to our minds our Savior. Could we look to the twelve tribes of Israel? Certainly it would be a biblical solution. Perhaps the apostles–but we’ve discussed them, their number, and their replacement on day eleven. And so, if tradition be minded (and what should we do but mind tradition?) our drummers would be the twelve tenets of the Apostles’ Creed beating out a cadence to call men to Christ.

  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
  3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
  4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave].
  5. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
  6. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  7. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  8. the holy catholic Church, (one quick note would remind us that this is not the Roman Catholic Church per se, but the universal “catholic” Church–the body of Christ, which includes the early Roman expression, but is not limited by denominational boundaries)
  9. the communion of saints,
  10. the forgiveness of sins,
  11. the resurrection of the body,
  12. and life everlasting.

And so, let us sing with all gusto today:On the twelfth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, Twelve Drummers (the Apostles’ Creed) drumming, Eleven Pipers (the faithful apostles) piping, Ten Lords (the Decalogue) a-leaping, Nine Ladies (the fruit of the Spirit) dancing, Eight Maids (the Beatitudes) a-milking, Seven Swans (the gifts of the Spirit) a-swimming, Six Geese (the days of Creation) a-laying, Five Gold Rings (the Pentateuch), Four Calling Birds (the Gospel accounts), Three French Hens (the theological Virtues), Two Turtledoves (the Testaments,  Old and New), and a Partridge (Christ the Lord) in a pear tree.