Yesterday, I started the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and Day 1 here.
"On the second day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...two turtledoves..."
There have been, interestingly, two different takes on the turtledoves. Many people say that the two turtledoves represent the two Testaments given by God in His Word: the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is certainly an adequate way to think of two gifts that the Father in Heaven has given to His own.
His Word certainly is a prized gift.
But I also like Helen Haidle's interpretation:
"For hundreds of years, Jewish families used turtledoves as offerings to God. The gift of two turtledoves is a reminder of the sacrifice offered for Jesus by Mary and Joseph."
"Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord...and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young pigeons.'" Luke 2:22, 24
Turtledoves were considered to be "clean" animals, suitable for sacrificing in the Old Testament (see Lev. 1:14)
It really is just like Him to offer to us the very thing that He wants us to offer back to Him. He gives us abundant life on this earth; we give it back to Him in our obedience. He gives us spiritual gifts with which to answer His call on our life; we give it back in our service to Him and His people. He gives us eternal life spent with Him; we'll give it back in eternal, perfect worship. Everything we have has been a gift from the Father.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
And everything we have is meant for us to do His bidding. In that way, we have made that sacrifice of the two turtledoves back to Him. What a perfect Savior. He makes the Way, and then gives us what we lack to complete our part of the covenant.
I think I'm gonna love doing this series.