One of the most difficult aspects of 2020 has been the lockdowns and social distancing measures that have been implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Being separated from friends and family is never pleasant. Being separated during holidays is even more frustrating. Thankfully, technology has allowed us to stay in touch and celebrate special occasions through virtual get-togethers.
God’s love isn’t something we experience virtually. It’s tangible in the sense that we see it in everything from the kindness of strangers to the majesty of the Milky Way. God’s love is so vast that Paul described it as more than we could ever imagine. That’s saying something!
God’s greatest expression of love, of course, was sending His son, Jesus Christ, to earth for the purpose of being the sacrifice for our sins. Believe it or not, the partridge in a pear tree in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is symbolic of this most excellent gift. Unlike most other birds, partridges are known to make their nests on the ground, not in a tree. And compared to other animals, partridges also exhibit an unusual degree of commitment to their mates over their full lifetime.
When we think of someone who came down from heaven to dwell among us – and then demonstrated an unnatural loving commitment to all people – our thoughts naturally turn to Jesus. The fact that the partridge is found in a pear tree also reminds us that, even though Jesus was first laid in a manger, he would one day be laid in a tomb after dying upon a cross hewn from a tree.
The partridge in a pear tree symbolizes Jesus Christ, the best Christmas gift ever! It’s also the only gift given on every day of the traditional twelve days of Christmas, which reminds us again of the important and special nature of this gift.