Do you remember the song Twelve Days of Christmas? Not one of my favorites. At least until I learned the history of the song.
"From 1558 until 1829 Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: The surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember."
Twelve Days of Christmas
A partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ
Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments
Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love
Four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Five golden rings recall the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation
Seven swans a-swimming represent the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit - prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy
Eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments
Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples
Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed
Makes me think about it a little differently.
Grace and peace to you