Just in case you wanted to know it, French Hens have 5 toes on each foot, instead of the usual 4.
The 3 French Hens are supposed to represent the 3 theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Today’s reading from the 12 days website is so excellently written, and not too long, you really should go and read it. She talks about hope–in a new year, etc., and though she admits that people who refuse to make New Year’s resolutions are being realistic, she just can’t help making some. We can relate!
"Hope and Joy come together. Both provide breathtaking views as our spirits soar high above the harsh rocks of Reality borne by the wings of the Spirit of God. Faith lets us relax and enjoy the ride. And Love is so evident in the patience of God as He guides us gently on to become the persons He wants us to be."
And that is a good segue into yesterday’s sermon notes, as Sharon talked about the love of God. Again, she pointed out how we’ve romanticized the manger, and "inn"–which was more likely something like a homeless shelter. The fact that it was Mary who wrapped the baby ("in swaddling clothes") does suggest that there was no one else there (like the innkeeper’s wife, for example). Sharon told a story about a couple of little boys who loved to dress the same as their father, or if he got down to their height they’d love how they were the "same" as Daddy, etc. They’d point to him and to themselves and say "same, same!" Which of course, is a beautiful picture of what God has done in the Incarnation. When we suffer, are lonely, etc., and wonder if God understands us, we can point to Jesus and ourselves and say "same, same".