Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holly reminders

We have a large holly bush in the front yard and the birds planted another large plant in the back yard. Holly bushes are everywhere on our property from the red berries the birds scatter. Looking at the holly we can be reminded of Biblical things.There are stories and legends about the Holly. It has shiny green leaves even in the winter. The green leaves point to everlasting life in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

 The thorns on the leaves point to the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.

Mar 15:16  And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 
Mark 15:17  And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 
Mark 15:18  And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 
Mark 15:19  And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 
Mark 15:20  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. 

 The red berries represent the blood of Jesus shed for our sins.

Mar 14:23  And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 
Mar 14:24  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 
Mar 14:25  Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 

Another Christmas legend is from the Christmas tree. Christmas trees came from pagan practices, but our use of a tree has loftier meanings. A tradition says that  Martin Luther observed stars while looking through an evergreen tree, thus the lights on the modern Christmas tree to represent the stars or the heavens. The evergreen fir represents eternal life. Gifts of fruit used to be hung on the tree, being replaced with glass ornaments. The ornaments sometimes are used as reminders of events in the past, such as a child's birthday. We are celebrating the birthday of Jesus, whenever that may have been. He is the tree of life, the life giver. As the wise men brought him gifts, the custom is to exchange gifts at this time of celebration. On top of the tree is a star to represent the star that guided the wise men to the house where Jesus was an infant. Sometimes an angel is placed on the top of the tree to represent the angel that came to Mary and the angels that announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. These are legends, but it is okay to use them as reminders of Biblical truths. A symbol is to represent a reality. It is best to think of these representing good things and not to look for evil. No evil is meant when we gather at Christmas time with a holly wreath on the door and a tree in our homes. Merry Christmas friends and keep the joy of his coming in your heart. It is the season to remember Jesus, family and friends and to be thankful for his everlasting gift of life.

Luk 2:8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke  2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 

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