xmas 12: Twelve Miriams Drumming

Jackson Campbell
2 min readJan 5


Perhaps I was tired of “Twelve Drummers Drumming” because I think of Men when I say it or maybe I just wanted to find a way to slip Miriam into the twelfth day of Christmas. Either way, I think it was a good idea. On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to meeeeee… Twelve Miriams Drumming!

If you have read anything of Miriam, the first female prophet in the Bible, you’ll know that she was one who could get down with the best of ’em. I mean.. read the story below of Miriam and the tambourine:

Exodus 15:20–21

20 Then Aaron’s sister, the prophet Miriam, picked up a tambourine, and all
the women followed her, dancing, with tambourines, 21 while Miriam sang:
“Sing to YHWH
who has triumphed gloriously,
who has flung horse and rider
into the sea!”

When I read this, I want to imagine the Pentecostal churches that I grew up around in Eastern KY. She probably danced like there was no one watching, sang like no one was listening, and celebrated the victory that her God had brought to her community.

In the exodus scripture, it says that “all the women followed her.” I don’t know how many women that might be but imagine TWELVE women drumming because they were just as excited as the prophet Miriam about how their God had brought them a victory.

So much joy, so little time!

In this time of Christmas celebration, as we remember the birth of the Christ child and the struggles of his poor, refugee family, we must rejoice like our prophet Miriam, who danced and sung like no one was there! Better yet, let’s rejoice like there are twelve Miriams drumming.

No foe will be able to silence the joy that your praise will bring.

Amen. Merry Christmas.



Jackson Campbell

Queer advocate & Minister | Union Theological Seminary in NYC