Monday, December 12, 2011

The Love Berries of Christ

The Advent wreath is decorated with blood-red holly berries. And the one and only reason they are there is to represent the droplets of the blood Jesus Christ shed on the cross.

It is a helpful reminder that the people who first told the story of the birth of Jesus Christ knew the whole story. They knew what was to happen to him: that he was to be betrayed by one of his closest companions and that the others would run away. They knew that he was to be arrested on trumped-up charges of blasphemy and sedition. They knew that he would be beaten, crucified and that he would die on the cross.

Everything about the nativity story of Jesus Christ is designed to remind us who he is to be as an adult, as the incarnate Word and wisdom of the Divine, of God, our creator. His family tree; visits from angels; fleeing to Bethlehem and then Egypt; strange gifts from strange visitors from the nations.

Consequently, the decorations we use at Advent and Christmas remind us of the whole story, even his extremely cruel death. So remember, every red berry you see decorating a door, a table, a tree, or a sweet treat is representative of the innocent blood Jesus shed on the cross. But that shouldn’t cause any of us to turn away from the decoration because the day Jesus died is known as Good Friday.

I can only think of one reason to call that dark day “Good,” and that’s because it is a logical and necessary step towards the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a powerful event that tells us that not even death can extinguish the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.

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