On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
I hope you like fowl (right, fowl, not foul) because these 12 Days of Christmas definitely have a bird theme. Today we have two turtledoves. They represent the two sections that make up the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Yesterday we were able to thank the God for the gift of his only Son, the Word made Flesh. Today, we are reminded of the Word of God, the written tradition of the Church. The Old and New Testaments make up our story, our history of faith. Yes, they might be old, but they are still relevant today. Just as you may have heard some family story at Christmas dinner, the OT and NT is the family story of our Church.
The Gospel of Luke (part of the NT) tells us that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple according to the law of Moses. Part of the custom also meant presenting either “the sacrifice of ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,’ in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.” (Luke 2:24) Actually, according to the law, they primary gift of sacrifice should have been a yearling lamb. “If, however, she cannot afford a lamb, she may take two turtledoves.” (Leviticus 12:8) Mary and Joseph were poor and could not bring a lamb.
Except they did. They brought with them the Lamb of God and the two turtle doves. There, the Old Testament and the New Testament meet. This newborn baby would fulfill the old law and would form a new covenant with us.
Open of the Word of God today, and thank the Lord for the new covenant. You can find the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20.