We’re nearing the end of our series looking at the lyrics to the song “A Song and a Christmas Tree” (Andy Williams’ spin on “Twelve Days of Christmas”). You can take each of the twelve gifts given in the song and find spiritual application.
The tenth gift given is “some mistletoe” and who doesn’t stealing a kiss under that funny green plant, right?
The history of “kissing under the mistletoe” is charming. It dates back a couple thousand years to the Celts (whose territory once spread across much of western Europe). Mistletoe is a resilient plant and its green is often seen peeking out from under heavy snowfall. Even after all other plants around it have yielded to the winter weather, the mistletoe endures. Because of that, the mistletoe was seen by the superstitious Celts as a plant of fertility, thriving and…making plant babies…in the winter months, in order to keep its population growing into the spring.
So take that thought, and it’s easy to figure out why “kissing” when you come upon a mistletoe became a tradition.
So where does the spiritual application come in?
Well…since the mistletoe was seen as a plant that got an early jump on the springtime renewal of plants, then it’s similar to our salvation. Think about it: We are promised a renewal in the form of our resurrection from the dead, at which point our bodies will change (the way flowers bud in the spring) and begin a perpetual life in Heaven with God. But before that, we get an “early jump” on that renewal when we are saved. Our lives are changed now, in advance of our resurrection. It’s not a physical change, like will happen at the last day, but it is a spiritual change.
Like the mistletoe we thrive in the dark winter of this weary, sin-sick world, and we bring the promise of a greater springtime yet to come.