Season of Advent

 

Signs of Jesus

Told from the 1st person perspective of Pastor Dennis Molnar…
Chrismon Tree - Advent 2015

Chrismon Tree – Advent 2015

During this Season of Advent we are going to use the symbols from our sanctuary Chrismon Tree, to help us see signs of Jesus in the world. The word Chrismon comes from the words, Christ and monogram. Essentially a Chrismon is a monogram of Christ. A monogram is a way of marking what belongs to us. Often in a script form we use monograms to place our initials on a physical items, such as an etching on glassware, or stitching it on a shirt, or you may even consider your signature a personal monogram. (Do you remember signing that mortgage for your home?)

Perhaps the best symbol of God’s monogram on each of us is our Baptism. Baptism is God’s sign of mercy and we use it as an outward sign of the inward redemptive activity of grace in our lives. It shows us that we belong to God! So as we look to the Chrismon Tree for a symbol of God’s redemptive activity, we can see the “Hand of God.”

 

HandofGod_Web

Chrismon Symbol – Hand of God

The Hand reaches down from the cloud of heaven denoting God’s creative power and reach towards his created, including each of us. God’s creative power is revealed not only in Genesis but also in Isaiah 48:13, “My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens.” His protection over us is also proclaimed by the psalmist, “Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:10

The Three Pointing Fingers represent the three persons of the Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Two Closed Fingers represent the twofold nature of Jesus; fully human and fully divine.

The Circle around is a Nimbus, which is a sign of sanctity. This means God is holy.

The Three Rays within the Nimbus represent the deity of God. This means he is supreme and powerful.

As you reflect on this Chrismon symbol today, look around your house or recall the things that you have claimed by the use of a monogram. Be conscious of everything you extend your hand to touch, and consider God’s desire to touch all that he has created. May you spend a few moments remembering God’s touch and claim on you through your Baptism. God is good…

The Angel Chrismon

The angel is one of the most popular images we use at Christmas time, and along with the star is one of the most common symbols we place on top of our Christmas Trees. Although we use a Star on top of the Chrismon Tree in the sanctuary, I would have you consider the role of angels in the good news story of our Savior’s birth. There is the angel of the Lord who speaks to Zechariah in the Holy of Holies (Luke 1: 8-20) about the impending pregnancy of Elizabeth and the birth of the child who becomes John the Baptist. The angel Gabriel is sent to tell Mary her role in God’s incarnation plan (Luke 1: 26-38). Another angel of the Lord visits Joseph to reassure him of God’s unusual plan for Mary’s pregnancy (Matthew 1: 18-25). Then there is the angel of the Lord who is joined by a multitude of the Heavenly Host of Angels announcing the good news of the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem (Luke 2: 8-20). Finally, we have to also consider the warning dream of the wise men who traveled home by another road, as well as the angel of the Lord who speaks to Joseph about the need to flee to Egypt and Herod’s desire to kill the child. Angels play not only a prominent role in the birth of Jesus, but they also tend to him in the wilderness and appear in various forms throughout scripture.

The Angel Chrismon Symbol

Chrismon Symbol – The Angel

Do you have angels decorating your home, whether at Christmas time or throughout the year? Do we consider whether God is continuing to use angels as messengers of the good news? Take some time and read through the angels’ messages throughout the birth narratives of Jesus. Consider what the message of angels might be to us this Christmas. Listen for the still small voice of the whispering of angels among us, echoing the good news proclaimed so boldly to the ears of God’s instruments of the incarnation (Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and even you?)

The Creator’s Star

There are many images of stars that are used to express the wonder of the universe and the vastness of the heavens. This six pointed star is a unique expression of the creative power of God. Each point represents the creation in six days. Genesis 1 tells of the six days of creation. The created purpose of the seventh day (The Sabbath) is not revealed until Genesis 2: 1-3. The six points are created equally by envisioning two equilateral triangles laid upon each other with one triangle pointing upward and one pointing downward. This is another affirmation of the three persons of the Trinity being present at the creation of the world, although the expression of God the Father and Creator is the dominant image we credit for the work of the six days of creation. Some people have also used the six points of the star to refer to six attributes of God in the scriptures: power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy, and justice.

Chrismon_Star

Chrismon Symbol – The Creator’s Star

Read through the creation story from Genesis 1 today and look to see how many of the created elements you see during the day. Be attentive to the creation of God all around you during the full day, both by the light of the day (Sun) and the light of the night (Moon). Take a moment and appreciate God’s affirmation of each element of creation (God saw that it was good) and then the final affirmation at the end of the sixth day when he created the animals and all humankind in his image. “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them…” (God saw that it was very good.) Give thanks to God for all of creation, especially the image of God in you!

The Holy Trinity Chrismon

As we continue to explore the Signs of Jesus this Advent Season, the symbol of the Holy Trinity becomes our focus for today. The Three in One symbol expresses the three ways that God has revealed the power of creation, presence, and guidance to all of humanity. The Trinitarian nature of God has existed from the moment of creation, Genesis 1: 1-5 and was echoed in the Gospel according to John 1: 1-5, 10-18. The creative power of God (Creator) was expressed by the Wind (Spirit) moving over the face of the waters and the Word (Jesus) speaking all things into being. It was in God’s time that each element of the Trinity was fully revealed to the created. The time of Creation (God) for the created, the time of Redemption (Jesus) for the created, and the time of Dwelling (Spirit) with the created.

Chrismon_TheHolyTrinity

Chrismon Symbol – The Holy Trinity

The geometric symbols of the triangle and the trefoil are combined to express the blended nature of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit or as some refer to the Trinity as Creator, Redeemer, and Guide. The equilateral triangle has three sides of equal length and the three angles are identical. The trefoil is an expression of three interwoven circles with overlapping parts intersecting the triangle. They are combined into one figure to show the oneness of God.

The Great Commission captures the purpose of the Trinitarian nature of our mission as disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28: 19)

Consider the balance of God’s revelations in three persons. Do you have a balanced view of the three persons or does one image dominate your thoughts? Take a look around you today and consider where you see and experience the three persons of the Trinity. Look for the power of God the Creator and Father, God the Son and Redeemer, and the indwelling of the Spirit and Counselor.

The Fish

Of all the symbols used to proclaim who Jesus is, my favorite is the Fish.

The Greek word for fish is “Ixthus”. When you take each of the first letters of the word “Ixthus” you can create an acronym which was used by the very first followers of Jesus to express their belief in Jesus as the Christ.

I – J’esus, X- Christos, Th-Theos, U-Uious, S-Sanctus.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Our Savior.

Chrismon Symbol - The Fish

Chrismon Symbol – The Fish

In Matthew 4: 18-22, we learn that several of the first disciples were fishermen. Luke 5: 1-11 expands the story o include a miraculous catch and the need for two boats to haul in the catch where Jesus had instructed them to “cast their nets.” It then tells us that they immediately left everything and followed him. Have you ever wondered what happened to the miraculous catch of fish? This story is echoed in John after the resurrection when the disciples go back to do something they are familiar with, John 21: 1-14. It is in this story the fish are actually counted, 153. At that time, there were exactly 153 known nations of people. This adds some interesting dynamics to the commission of the disciples to be “fishing for people.” As followers of Jesus Christ are we “fishing” for people? Do we understand the commission is to go to all nations and make disciples? Consider where you are “fishing” for people to be disciples for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Are you casting a net or just a single line? Who are you partnered with in this effort of making disciples? Perhaps we need to adopt this symbol as part of our call as disciples to proclaim Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as our Savior.

The Manger

The Manger Chrismon appears to be very simplistic symbol and of course proclaims the birth of Jesus. However on further examination there are many things about the manger that point our eyes to Jesus. This is the way God chose to send us a Savior. He was born in a manger rather than a palace or from a position of power. He was born as a baby just like us. Yet this symbol points to the perfection of Jesus in order to take away our sin.

The Circle at the top of the X is a nimbus, meaning that Jesus was holy. He never did anything wrong. He never sins, and that is how Jesus is different from us. The X also is the first letter of the Greek word, Christos, meaning “the Christ”. When combined these two symbols proclaim the birth of salvation through the one born in a manger.

Chrismon_Manger

Chrismon Symbol – The Manager

Take a moment and read the birth narrative from Luke 2: 1-7, being conscious of the events that led to Jesus being born in a manger. Consider all the things that had to unfold for Jesus to be born where he was born in Bethlehem. The passage also states, “…and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Because there is no room in the inn, Jesus is born in a manger. A manger is a “feeding trough”. It is where the animals congregated to feed on the hay and other grains provided for them. Do we consider the church an inn or a manger? Which image speaks to our role in letting Jesus be born in us today? Do we understand the church as a place for God’s people to congregate to be fed the living Word of God, Jesus?

Chrismon Crosses – Second Week of Advent

As we move to the Second Week of Advent our focus this week will be upon the Chrismon Crosses. A wide variety of crosses are displayed on the Sanctuary Chrismon Tree. The cross has become the primary symbol for the followers of Christ. We often want to focus on the baby in the manger image at Christmas time and forget that Jesus hung on a cross for our sins and to bring salvation to the world.

The first Chrismon Cross we will reflect upon is the most common the Latin Cross

The Latin Cross is sometimes also called the Roman Cross. It is proportioned according to the imagined image of a cross in the time of Jesus. The belief is that the person carried their own cross pieces to the sight of their crucifixion and then the cross was formed by attaching the cross piece to the upright piece. While it was on the ground the person was then nailed upon the cross through the wrists and feet to secure them to the assembled cross. The cross was then lifted up and placed into the ground for all to see the crucified one. Read the account of the crucifixion of Jesus from the Account of Luke 23: 26-43.

Chrismon_TheLatinCross

Chrismon Symbol – The Latin Cross

Reflect upon how Jesus was “lifted up” for our sin and how his action towards the criminal is his action towards us. We are lifted up because he was lifted up!

Consider all the ways you feel “lifted up” before the Lord. Spend time “lifting up” people you know who need to be “lifted up” for salvation before the Lord.

The second cross we are examining this week of Advent is the Jerusalem Cross. It has also been called the Crusader’s Cross. This cross has come to mean many things through the centuries since its design. The center cross is made by connecting four Tau crosses (Imagine the Letter T with the bottoms all connected). Tau crosses represent the Old Testament prophecies of a Savior. The four smaller crosses represent the four Gospels which have eclipsed the Mosaic Law represented by the Tau crosses.

 

Chrismon_JerusalemCross

Chrismon Symbol – The Jerusalem Cross

Some people believe the total of five crosses represent the five wounds suffered by Jesus at the crucifixion. The Jerusalem Cross has also been used to represent the mission of the church. The large center cross representing the main church at Jerusalem and the other 4 crossed representing the four corners of the earth.

Read the account of the crucifixion from Matthew 27: 32-44.

Reflect upon the wounds of Jesus and remember he suffered them for you. As a follower of Jesus, are you willing to encourage the spread of the gospel to the four corners of the earth through the support of mission coworkers dispersed around the globe. Take time to pray today for the mission coworkers that are taking the gospel to the four corners of the earth. Do you know anyone in the mission field for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Drop them a note and let them know you are holding them before the Lord in prayer.

The third cross we will look at during this Second Week of Advent is the Fleurie Cross. This is a French design of the cross and “fluerie” is the French word for “flowery.” The equal balance of the cross is enhanced by the ends that resemble the petals of a flower. This cross is used in many church designs because of the beauty of the style.

This beautiful form of the cross was designed as an expression of the beautiful way God showed His love and mercy for us by his death on the cross. This cross is often used at the top of poles in sanctuaries and to highlight other images in stained glass windows or other artistic designs to express the glory of God. One of my favorite hymns is “Lift High the Cross”, and I especially like the refrain, “Lift High the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim.

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Chrismon Symbol – The Fleurie Cross

Read the account of the crucifixion from the account of John 19: 16b-30. Note the emphasis on who was at the cross and the detail about what the sign stated about the crime he was convicted of and how many different languages it was written in. I believe John’s writing is like an artist painting a portrait. The image emerges with an intriguing draw towards discovering the connection between the subject (Jesus) and the reader or observer (you).   We need to remember John was part of the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James, and John) and wanted everyone to know the love Jesus had for not only them but for others.

Reflect upon the relationship you have with Jesus. Do you need to recommit yourself as a disciple of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ as Peter, John, and others did after the crucifixion, when he appeared to them again. Pray for a renewal of your relationship with Jesus. Remember to Lift High the Cross in word and deed, so everyone can see His presence and love in the world.

The fourth cross we examine this Second Week of Advent is the Serpent and the Tau Cross. The Tau Cross is a reminder of the Old Testament Anticipatory Cross spoken of in the prophecies that was a reminder of how God lifted up Moses before the people of Israel in order to deliver them. Remember that Moses had a staff and it turned into a snake when he tossed it on the ground as a sign of the power of God when he lifted it up in the wilderness to guide the Israelites to the promised land (into their future). Upon this Tau Cross the snake is wrapped around just as it is depicted from the story when Moses lifted up his staff before the people.

SerpentandTau

Chrismon Symbol – The Serpent and Tau Cross

Some people also interpret this Serpent and Tau Cross to signify the defeat of Satan by Jesus. Through the power of the Cross sin is defeated and the dominion of Satan has no more power over people.

Read the remembrance of the need for Jesus to be “lifted up” just like Moses from John 3: 11-21.

Remember, “Whosoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

The Greek word for you in this passage is plural. The message is for whoever believes, not just you.

Reflect on how you are living your life confident of the promise proclaimed in John, that you have eternal life. Sin and death are defeated through the action of God through the incarnation of Jesus and his crucifixion.

Rejoice and be glad in the promise of freedom from sin and eternal life.

Pray for members of your family and friends who are part of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, especially for those who dwell in the nearer presence of God this Advent Season through the power of the resurrection and the fulfillment of the promise of eternal life.

The fifth cross we see on the Chrismon Tree during the Advent Season is the Latin Cross with Chi Rho, Triangle, Roses, and M. A rather elaborate composition of symbols this cross proclaims a multitude of things about what we believe the cross has delivered unto us.

LatinCrossComplex

Chirsmon Symbol – The Latin Cross with Chi Rho, Triangle, Roses and M

The M is for Mary, the one who delivered the Son of God through his human birth; his mother.

The Rose is a symbol of new birth.

The Triangle symbolizes the Trinity as well as the motif of a baptism shell.

The Cross and the CHI RHO Greek letters (at the top of the cross) represent the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, CHRISTOS.

The Shepherds crook is also symbolized by the top of the cross.

All of these symbols capture the fullness of Christ’s life and purpose.

Read the account of the crucifixion from Mark 15: 21-41. Note the elaborate details that Mark includes.

Multiple images of the crucifixion and the multitude of purposes are blended in this cross.

Reflect on what images your life may portray if you were to create a simple stick image. For me it would include a cross and staff two reflective of my calling as an under-shepherd for the Kingdom of our Lord. Of course I might also include a Pittsburgh Penguin symbol or a number 5 for my children. Create a simple symbol of your life and purpose, and consider how it fulfills your calling as a disciple.

No other symbol has become so closely identified with the Christian faith tradition as the sign of the Cross. The prominence of the cross as the symbol Christianity arose around 312 A.D. with the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Cross designs and usage have been the subjects of much thought throughout the ages. The countless variety of Cross designs may reflect a particular faith, a given period in church history, or a specific event. As we continue to look at the various Chrismon crosses we note the outward focus of the Cross Crosslet.

CrossCrosslet

Crismon Symbol – The Cross Crosslet

This Cross Crosslet combines four Latin crosses, arranged so the bases of the crosses overlap. This cross symbolizes the spread of the gospel to the four corners of the earth. From the central focus of the four crosses converging to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the four crosses point to our bearing the cross of Christ into all the world. Some people also think of the four gospels being combined to create the one good news story that we are to weave into the world to the glory of Jesus Christ.

Spend some time reviewing the visit of the Wise Men in the Gospel account of Matthew 2: 1-12. This part of the story speaks to the universal nature of the birth of Jesus. Reflect on how you came to know the story of Jesus. Who shared the story with you? Was it parents, grandparents, a friend, a Sunday School teacher?

Think of one person you can share the story with this Christmas Season. When was the last time you talked about the story with a family member or a friend? We may think we know the story, but are we willing to tell the story to someone else? Make a commitment to share the birth story with someone else this coming week.

Another Chrismon Cross that turns our direction outward from the core cross is the Passion Cross. The Passion Cross is a Latin cross symbolic of the crucifixion. The four points of the cross are symbolic of the four points of a compass. Some people also refer to the points as being symbolic of a sword or an arrow, as a call for the passion of Jesus’ death to bring forth a response from our own soul.

PassionCross

Chrismon Symbol – The Passion Cross

The week of events from the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem through his crucifixion (Palm Sunday to Good Friday) is often referred to Passion Week. The events are seen as an expression of our Lord’s passion towards us. Each act of the unfolding passion of Jesus from his weeping over the city before he enters to the giving up his spirit with the proclamation, “It is finished”, are interpreted as acts of passion.

Read the Gospel account of the crucifixion from John 19: 16b-30. These final acts of passion towards the two thieves, the women at the cross, including his own mother, and his beloved disciple John, are all actions that draw us to consider his act of salvation us too.

Reflect on the piercing of not just the side of Jesus, but how these actions pierce your own soul. As you look at the Passion Cross, think about how it calls you not only to be grateful for the passion of Jesus towards you, but how we must have a passion for the gospel to take it into the world.

Think of an act of com-passion you can express to someone today or this week as an expression of thankfulness to the Lord for his passion towards you. Can you take soup or cookies to a neighbor? Can you visit someone in the hospital or visit someone in a care facility? Think of how you can bear an act of passion for the Lord into the presence of someone else’s heart as an extension of the Lord’s heart for that person too.

Third Week of Advent

The Crown

As the Third Week of Advent begins we continue our look at the Chrismon ornaments which adorn the tree in the chancel as signs of the activity of Jesus. We begin by looking at the Kingship of Jesus as the Christ. The Crown Chrismon is the most common image used to proclaim Jesus as King.

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Chrismon Symbol – The Crown

The Crown Chrismon symbolizes Jesus as our King. As the famous verses from scripture and the music of The Messiah declares, “He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.” He rules over the heavens and the earth.

The gold represents his holy rule as king.

The crown has three arches of rule symbolizing the Trinity of rule as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The crown is topped with a cross symbolizing the way Jesus becomes King over our redeemed lives.

The crown can also symbolize that we also will receive the crown of life when we go to heaven.

Revelations 2:10 declares, “Be faithful, even to the point of death , and I will give you’re the crown of life.”

Even Pilate recognized Jesus as a ruler of nations. Luke 19: 19-22.

Read Isaiah 9: 2-7 and note the references to the reign of the Coming King.

We declare in the Apostle’s Creed that, “He sits at the right hand of God and judges the quick and the dead.” (Quick is an ancient reference to one’s body having life; thus Jesus rules over the living ones, us.) Jesus is the Sovereign One, and thus reigns over us. We are the ones who are a part of His Kingdom through our discipleship service to the Lord. Do we let Jesus have reign over the course and purpose of our lives, or are we a self-determination people? In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; and that He is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory. If we truly believe that He is King of kings and Lord of lords, in what ways do we give him reign over and through our lives? Are there places in your life that need the reign of Jesus instead of the reign of others or things that may rule our lives?

The Dove with the Nimbus

The next Chrismon symbol is The Dove with a nimbus. This Chrismon reminds us the Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit. The dove appears as a sign of the Holy Spirit alighting on Jesus at his baptism (Luke 3: 21, 22). The Chrismon Dove carries the Flame in its mouth.

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Chrismon Symbol – The Dove with the Nimbus

The dove has a descending form symbolizing that the Spirit comes from heaven down to earth to live among us.

The dove is carrying a three-rayed nimbus denoting the Deity of God.

The nimbus is a symbol of sanctity, showing the holiness of God.

Some people consider the nimbus to be the gift of the Holy Spirit that not only descended on Jesus, but it is the same Spirit we are baptized with.

Read Luke 3: 15-17 where John draws a distinction between his baptism with water and the Messiah’s baptism with the Spirit and fire. Consider the physical form of the dove as a visible sign for the Holy Spirit that is bestowed on us in baptism. At our baptism we receive not only the grace of God, who takes away our sins, but we are also empowered with the Holy Spirit to guide us as his disciples for the Kingdom of Jesus the Christ.

Consider how the Holy Spirit has guided your thoughts and your actions as a disciple. How does it make you feel that the same Spirit that was in Christ, dwelling with him, is also the same Spirit that dwells with us? Jesus has gifted us with the same ability of the Holy Spirit to help us walk through the earthly elements of life as he did. We need to remember to take time to nurture this Spirit in us as Jesus did in himself. How do you nurture the Holy Spirits presence with you and how do you show its empowerment of your life?

The Flame of Fire

The Chrismon Flame ornament is a further sign of the gift Jesus has given us through the Holy Spirit. The same flame mentioned in Luke 3:15-17 is the flame that is ignited in the people on the Day of Pentecost. The Flame of Fire Chrismon declares that Jesus is the one who gave us the gift of the Spirit to be a presence with us.

FlameCrismon

Chrismon Symbol – The Flame of Fire

 

The Flame is outlined with gold symbolizing the holiness of the Spirit.

The Flame often has 3 points of flame denoting the Trinity of the divine.

The Flame also is depicted as a burning flame with a sense of motion. This type of flame is an unquenchable fire that does not consume, but rather refines. The Holy Spirit is a refining fire that is present with us to help us as we act in discipleship for the Kingdom.

Read the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-13, noting the appearance of the flame on each person gathered there. Luke was not only the author of the gospel account according to Luke, but also the author of the Acts of the Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles are shared to tell how the empowerment of the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to do many things for the glory of Christ and to show the presence of the Holy Spirit with them. Consider that the promise of the flame mentioned by John the Baptist is the same flame that is given at Pentecost to the disciples as a sign of the fulfillment of the promise.

How does the flame of the Holy Spirit dwell in your life? Is it a flickering candle or like a pilot light on a gas furnace, that when ignited burns with great energy to bring forth warmth? Is the flame of the Holy Spirit burning within you with a sense of passion for the gospel as it did with the first apostles? Consider all the first apostles accomplished for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is a gift we are to use to the glory and enhancement of the Kingdom still. Let the Holy Spirit inflame your heart this Christmas for the sake of the Kingdom of Jesus the Christ.

The Candle

Staying with the theme of The Light, we look to The Candle Chrismon for our inspiration today. Though simplistic is style the flame and candle combine to represent several truths about Jesus as the Christ.

Chrismon Symbol - The Candle

Chrismon Symbol – The Candle

In the Gospel account of John the Light and the Word are combined together echoing the reference of Psalm 119: 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Candle Chrismon serves not only as a symbol of Light but also the Word revealed through Jesus.

Read the Gospel account of John 1: 1-18. Note the blending of the Light references and the Word references as a dual revelation of who Jesus is for all the world. Throughout Advent we light candles symbolizing the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that Jesus ushers into the world through his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Candles serve also as a way of proclaiming the presence of Christ. We light candles at the beginning of every worship service to proclaim his presence in worship. From my perspective looking out at the congregation on Christmas Eve, the beauty of the Candlelight Service is captured by the illumination of candles reflecting the faces of Christ’s disciples.

Take time today to light a candle and reflect on the presence of Christ in your life. Read scripture by candlelight, and remember this is the type of light the people in the time of Jesus were using. Candles and oil lamps are important symbols of how Jesus reveals himself as the Christ among us. How are you a light midst the darkness?

The Seven Pointed Star and Open Book

Another form of the Light is depicted through the Chrismon Stars that adorn the Chrismon Tree. The Seven Pointed Star and Open Book Chrismon represent the Seven Stars and the Seven Lampstands from the book of Revelations.

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In the vision of Joh recorded in Revelations, the Seven Pointed Star refers to the Angels of the Seven Churches and the Seven Lampstands are the Seven Churches. (Revelations 1: 20) The Open Book is a reference to the Scriptures and also the Seven Letters written to the Seven Churches (Revelations 2: 1 – 3:22), which ends with the words, “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” The letters on the Open Book V.D.M.A. are Latin for “Verbum dei manet in aeternum”, translated, “The Word of God Endureth Forever.” When we look at the Seven Pointed Star with the Open Book Chrismon, we are reminded that God’s revelation of Jesus as the Christ continues.

Read The Revelation of John 1: 9-20. This is the initial vision John is given to begin his message to the church about the unfolding of God’s glorious Kingdom on “earth as it is in heaven.” Remember John is sharing a vision. He is using imagery to depict a truth about the eternal reign of Jesus as the Christ. Though the written words are important, the images they foster in our “mind’s eye” are symbolic of God’s continual revelation to his people. What do you see when you read this passage? What image do you see as a symbol for the church we are a part of today?