“For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.”
Much of what we see and experience during the Christmas season is symbolic. Symbols are important because they remind us of a greater reality. This Christmas as you see the sights and sounds of the season take some time to remember the truth that the symbols point to.
When you see the Christmas star remember that the star was fulfillment of the promise that a new star would arise on the night of Christ’s birth.
When you see a Christmas wreath remember that the wreath originated as a reminder of the crown of thorns worn by the Savior on the cross; it also reminds us that God’s plan is eternal. The wreath symbolizes eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end.
When you give or receive gifts think of the significance of the act of giving. We give and receive gifts at Christmas time in remembrance of Heavenly Father’s greatest gift of all: His son Jesus Christ.
When you see and smell a Christmas tree think about its color. The color of the evergreen tree remains all year round. Our Christmas trees represent eternal life—the greatest gift from our Savior.
When you see a nativity set remember that God chose to bless the world through a family. Give thanks to God that he blessed you by giving you your family.
Our hope for you this Christmas season is that the reality of the symbols will elevate your thoughts. That you will be constantly reminded of Jesus, the true reason for our hope and joy this season.
The background music on this episode is the hymn Faith in Christ Our Sacrifice. The hymn was written by Isaac Watts who was an English Pastor in the 1700’s. Although this hymn is not considered a Christmas hymn it’s profound message elucidates our thoughts and helps us embrace the reality of Christ’s sacrifice. At the same time it helps us see the shadows of the Old Testament’s sacrificial system. Let these lyrics guide you as you ponder today’s Christmas devotion.
Not all the blood of beasts
on Jewish altars slain
could give the guilty conscience peace
or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
takes all our sins away;
a Sacrifice of nobler name
and richer blood than they.
My faith would lay her hand
on that dear head of Thine,
while like a penitent I stand,
and there confess my sin.
My soul looks back to see
the burden Thou didst bear
when hanging on the cursed tree;
I know my guilt was there.
Believing, we rejoice
to see the curse remove;
we bless the Lamb with cheerful voice
and sing His bleeding love.
With much love, The Downings
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