Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Reason for the Season

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…Isaiah 9:6

I must confess, decorating and getting into Christmas this year is a bit hard. So much of what made Christmas special was sharing it with my boys. I miss that. I miss sharing the traditions – the decorating, the baking, the giving of gifts.

But one thing we shared I don’t have to give up if you’ll let me share it with you. A big part of our Christmas fun involved teaching the boys the meaning behind the traditions. So I thought I’d share with you some of the aspects Peter and I investigated together. Not an exhaustive list, these dozen will at least get you started. These are the aspects we reviewed every year through our advent calendar. Enjoy!

Christmas Characters:

Mary – said yes to a life forever changed and became the mother of Jesus

Joseph – married Mary and served as Jesus parent even though he was not Jesus Father

Shepherds-while tending sheep, angels appeared to them and announced Jesus arrival and directions of how to find him in Bethlehem (also connects to Jesus our shepherd)

Wise Men-Royal kings and/or astrologers from Eastern countries that came to worship Jesus after seeing signs in the stars. They arrived when Jesus was close to 2 years old and brought 3 gifts – frankincense and myrrh, spices used for burial embalming, and gold to honor a king. (also connects to Jesus our King)

Angels- scattered throughout the story, one appeared to Mary to announce God’s plan, and appeared to the shepherds to announce Jesus arrival

Stable- With no room at an inn, Jesus was born in a stable, demonstrating his willingness to humble himself to come to earth and indicating his availability to every person, rich and poor alike.

Jesus-the reason for the season – God’s son who came to earth, fully God/fully man, to pay the debt for the sins of anyone who believes in him.

Christmas Symbols:

Lights/Candles – Jesus is the light of the world, coming to reveal and extinguish the darkness of the world and that within us

Evergreen tree – ever green representing God’s everlasting love

Wreath – a circle with no start and end also representing God’s everlasting love

Candy canes- red and white to represent the blood of Jesus that cleanses us of our sins making us white as snow…shaped like a shepherd’s staff since Jesus is our shepherd

Gifts- given to others because of the first Christmas gift given to us, Jesus, God’s own son.

Carols and music- singing praises to God in praise of our deliverance, sung like the angels when they came to announce Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.

Colors- red, the color of blood because Jesus came with one purpose, to die on our behalf… and green, the color of life and growth, because Jesus came to give us life.

Praying your Christmas season if full of meaning….

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