Symbols:
Ladders to Revelation

Each of us has been the recipient of a rich heritage of traditions and symbols given by others so that we can experience and communicate to our children the unfathomable love of God—the God who came to walk with us, to touch us where we are broken, to feed us the true water and food of the spirit, and to be His love made visible.

It is the privilege of every parent (that middle generation) to make sure the symbols we’ve been given do not turn into “meaningless traditions.” Tell the stories; make the symbols come alive with not only the story of our own personal histories, but of the Greatest Story Ever Told.



THE LIGHTS:
We can never fight the darkness with a sword, but only with Light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”

THE CRECHE:
(the manger and the characters assembled around it): Create a family ritual of displaying it, telling the story, reading the account from the Bible as the figurines are unwrapped and placed.

THE MUSIC, THE CAROLING:
Fill the winter nights with singing! Let music pull us from our houses into the frosty air where bells and voices announce the glad tidings!

THE ORNAMENTS:
Some are new because the story is always fresh and relevant to the new décor of every time frame, and some are old because the transforming truth of the incarnation has been changing lives for centuries. We are the recipients of the eternal choices made by those before us who claimed this Savior as their own.

THE COLORS:
RED — the lavish statement of nature (holly berries, cardinals, finches, bittersweet) against the gray of winter.

RED — the blood of Jesus making the most lavish statement of all against a dark world.

GREEN — evergreen (pines, cedars, magnolias) symbol of green life, eternal life. Silver—the shimmer of stars, especially that Star, piercing the dark canvas of the sky, drawing us, leading us, inspiring us on.

GOLD, FRANKINCENSE and MYRRH — Precious treasures that are God’s provisions before we ever know we need them.

THE SNOW:
The blanket of white that covers the ugliest of landscapes with redeeming purity where dance the glistening crystals, free jewels of grace everyone can accept yet no one could afford.