I John 3.7-10; Psalm 97; John 1.35-42
The eleven pipers piping that tradition says are to arrive on this day as a gift from one’s true love may or may not find a welcome reception in your home! Perhaps they represent the eleven “faithful” disciples who, after a fashion, remained loyal to their Lord down to the crucifixion and beyond it. [cf Matthew 26.56; John 6.70-71]
Several of those who first followed Jesus had been previously disciples of John the Baptist. Jesus shared John the Baptist’s eschatological anticipation—the sense that the time in which they lived was pregnant with the imminence of a dramatic intervention of God into the affairs of human beings. [Luke 3.7] John’s response to this expectation was a lifestyle of extreme asceticism and separation from ordinary human life. [Luke 1.80; Matthew 3.4] Jesus, though he certainly sought times of retreat and intimate communion with his heavenly Father
[Mark 1.35], seems to have participated avidly in earthly, human interactions. He compares himself to John the Baptist: “John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say ‘He is possessed.’ The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” [Luke 7.33] Jesus presents himself to us as our True Love, inviting us to follow him and to become his faithful disciples.