“while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” -II Corinthians 4:18 NKJV
I love all the trappings of Christmas; the music, the lights, the beautiful decorations, special food – all of it! I can easily get swept up in all the adornment! But it’s the reason for it all that means the most. The decorations are temporary, but the reason is eternal.
Jesus came that first Christmas for a very special purpose – to save all who would believe in Him from the consequence of sin. To trade His life for ours so that we could have eternal life rather than eternal death. Christmas commemorates His holy birth and the beginning of His purpose. Granted, the celebration has been intertwined with some non-Christian traditions in the interest of outreach, I guess you could say. Many familiar Christmas symbols have nothing to do with Christ. Many others have come to have deep meaning for believers.
Here are a few:
The candle: “A candle burns bright so we will not stray, He’s our Savior, our Christ and He lights the way.” “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” -Isaiah 9:2 NASB
Star: A heavenly sign shown to all that night. “After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” -Matthew 2:9-10 NASB
Candy cane: A shepherd’s crook used to guide His lambs. “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” -John 10:14-15 NASB
Bells: Like a cowbell, free roaming sheep wear bells making them easier to locate should they wander off. In the same way, bells represent that Jesus found us when we were lost. He saved us from sin. “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” -Matthew 18:12-14 NASB
Gifts: He IS the greatest gift! “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23 NASB
Without their meanings, these symbols are just things – temporary trappings. So, as we enjoy the beauty of these seen symbols let’s also look at the things that are not seen and remember the eternal meaning behind it all. Let’s get swept up more in the meaning of the symbols than the symbols themselves!
May you enjoy a deeply meaningful Christmas this year! 🕯🔔🎁😊💕