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On the second day of Christmas...

"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of turtledoves is heard in our land..." Song of Solomon 2.12

On the RSPB website the turtle dove is described as emitting a gentle purring sound which is evocative of summer. In the Christmas carol, two turtle doves may represent the Old and New Testaments, which make up the Christian scriptures. Have you ever stopped to wonder why we retain both? After all, if Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament - or covenant as it is sometimes called - why don't we concentrate on the new covenant, of which the New Testament is the definitive witness?

The fact is that the two covenants - or testaments - are part of a piece, which grants us a "God's-eye" perspective on the divine-human relationship from before creation until after the establishment of the new creation. In other words our story - or to be more precise God's story, or even God's and our story - is incomplete without both Old and New Testaments. So we can be grateful that, on this second day of Christmas, not one but two turtle doves chant their evocative call into the wintriness of our current situation, with their promise of warmer, sunnier days ahead...



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