Day 1 - Christmas Season Devotionals

Christmas Night, December 25 - December 26

Scripture Reading: John 1:1-14

The first verse of this well known Christmas song is: “On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

A partridge in a pear tree seems a very interesting image. Partridges are primarily a grounded fowl, related to quail, chukar, and pheasant. Driving down the rural roads of Idaho, one is likely to encounter a covey of quail—a mother followed by several tiny ones. She takes every opportunity to protect those little ones by either running or gathering them to her side. Besides quail one may also view the beauty of a pheasant in flight or glimpse the wiley chukar.

This image of a partridge may draw our thoughts to the passage where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and desires to care for her like a mother hen wishes to gather her chicks under her wings. This is the epitome of love—self-sacrifice and caring nurture. The image of a partridge in a pear tree is one of Jesus on the cross as the ultimate redeemer and sacrifice for sin. "The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." You, I, and our neighbors, are His purpose. We always have been. We always will be. He came as the suffering lamb of God. The angel's pronouncement had been, " . . . and He SHALL save His people from their sins . . ." Isaiah proclaimed him “wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace,” John in the fourth gospel, reminds us that “God so loved the world that he gave us his only son…”

I have seldom seen quail, pheasant, chukar, or partridges in trees, therefore it is interesting to think about them there. The image draws our thinking to the idea of provision. Pears are nourishing and nutritious. When Jesus died on that “tree” he became the provision and sustainer of our lives.

Action Point: When you think of the image of a "partridge in a pear tree," or Christ on the cross, are their metaphors that come to your mind? What theological truth do you think you could communicate related to this image? How do we participate in the “saving role” of the great King?