Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seventh Day of Christmas

"On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven swans a-swimming.... " Swans have an association with royalty- even to today as there is a Swankeeper  (on the Thames, I think) for the British royal family.
The accumulated 42 swans by the end of the song would also have required a fairly sizable pond- unless some of them also became part of the feast! In the religious interpretation, they stand for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have written these around the swans- encouragement, teaching, service, prophecy, giving, leadership and mercy.  Sometimes "exhortation" is the gift, rather than encouragement, but I felt that exhortation was too strong an urging, more like a sermon and could include warning and admonishing. Encouragement  implies urging on toward success and gives hope, courage and confidence ... so "encouragement" was my choice for a more positive gift. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just give gifts like that- to individuals and also to the world.

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