Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas symbols

Several years ago I went to hear a speaker at a church function around Christmas time.  He talked about how he loved how early stores and media started pushing the Christmas season.  I was initially surprised because I had always frankly been annoyed at how quickly all that stuff comes out.  Halloween has hardly stopped dinging your doorbell before you can find Christmas candy at the store.  Anyways, this speakers take on it was that every symbol of Christmas can be a wonderful reminder of our Savior and we just needed to start seeing Him in all of the hoopla, amidst the whirlwind of commercialization, we could see all of it as ready reminders of Jesus and His sacrifice for us.

So, although intense commercialization of the holiday has definitely taken place, what goes on in the marketing world or the stores does not need to affect how we each personally enjoy Christmas.  In fact, everything about Christmas, both commercial and not, can help us to remember our Savior and His gift to us at this wonderful time of year.  Here are some symbols of Christmas that maybe you could look at in a new light to help you remember Christ at this busy time of year.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer can remind us of Christ because he was mistreated and made fun of because he was different, because he had a light.  His light, however, was eventually used to guide or show the way through the fog, to help in the special task of delivering marvelous gifts to all the world.

The Christmas tree tradition has a long history.  It was a medieval practice to put up a tree on the 24th of December in the town square and place apples on it to represent the tree of life.  Egyptians worshipped evergreens when the winter solstice arrived to symbolize life’s triumph over death.  The Druids also saw evergreens as a symbol of eternal life.  The Christmas tree can remind us that eternal life is possible because of Jesus.

Donkeys served the Savior’s family as they traveled on their long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem prior to His birth.  A donkey was also personally chosen by the Savior to make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His life.  Every donkey is marked with a dark stripe down the back with another stripe across the shoulders, forming a cross.  This can remind us of our Savior and His sacrifice for us.

Frosty the snowman can remind us of Jesus because he was magical and powerful but mostly only children believed in him.  And then he died with a promise to return again.

Santa represents Christ because he especially loves little children and he wants all of us to be good.  Santa dresses in red and white, the colors that Jesus will appear in when He comes again, and his whole existence is to give gifts to all the world.

Lambs were used as sacrifices since Adam and Eve were placed on the earth.  Lambs used for sacrifice had to be without blemish, the firstborn of the flock, unbroken and perfect.  The sacrifice of a lamb on the altar was a representation of complete consecration and love.  David Bednar taught "There were many shepherds in Palestine, but only to those who watched over the temple flocks did the herald angels come. Only they heard the heavenly choir. Those were not ordinary sheep."  So the heavenly choir did not just come down to any old shepherds tending any old lambs - these were lambs being raised for the express purpose of serving as sacrifices.  A lamb was the first and most poignant reminder of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.

These are just a few.  If you take a moment to reflect, you can see Jesus in every aspect of the season, from lights to stars, to bells and bows, from wreaths to candy canes, and on and on.  He really is everywhere if you truly seek for Him.

Merry Christmas!
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1 comment:

Kendra said...

this is so true. Christ is emulated in anything that promotes charity and joy :)

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