Sunday, December 21, 2014


On the EIGHTH DAY of Christmas, my true love gave to me EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING.  It is suggested to us that the eight maids represent the BEATITUDES from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  THE BEATITUDES are named thus because of the Latin noun beatitudo which means "happiness". 

How does a maid ( a young girl) milking a cow remind us of these BEATITUDES? 

 My mother grew up on a farm and as far back as she can remember, machines were being used to milk cows.  A heifer makes so much milk that even when she gives birth to two calves at a time, she would never be relieved of her load.  The milking has to be done early in the morning, and if it’s done by hand it can take a long time.  So, a milk maid (in the 1700’s)was a humble position, a job that few would envy.

Jesus knew all about humility.  Early in His public ministry, He was followed by a multitude of people hoping to hear him teach, be fed, have a miraculous healing.  The Sermon on the Mount took place in a remote wilderness, where Jesus used the time to encourage His apostles.  He taught them to think differently about the people that followed Him – and themselves.  This simple teaching remains to be one of the most powerful (and quoted) sermons to this day:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus' teaching that day is sobering, considering how all of the apostles would all die.  With the exception of John, they would be martyrs, killed for their faith.  Jesus encouraged them to count it a blessing rather than a failure.

I have never measured strength by humility until I was born again in Jesus Christ.  He reminds me that if I'm in Him, I don’t have to fight for everything – it will all be given to me.  Humility recognizes that there is no such thing as losing when we are in Christ.  He knows our sufferings and He encourages us that no matter how lowly our station is, He will exalt us.

The gift of EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING assures us that our TRUE LOVE sees what we think no one can.   


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