Madonna and Child, by Pomeo Batoni
My dear friend, Sherrie Mills Johnson, is a religious scholar/ teacher at Brigham Young University. This month she is writing about the symbols of Christmas and their meanings ~ one symbol every day. You can read about them here. Her ability to deeply research and uncover details is helping me learn much more about how each symbol brings us closer to Jesus Christ. Understanding the meaning of Christmas little by little in this way fills me with a feeling of peace and gratitude for our Savior.
I've always loved the beautiful symbols of Christmas because they bring a much, much deeper meaning to this special time of year. We buy or make many of these symbols every year as a part of our celebration of Christ's birth ~ the tree (with the star on top), a wreath or the shepherd's cane (candy canes), among many others. My friend writes about other symbols too, such as swaddling clothes, frankincense, and the stable cave.
Every Christmas my gift to myself is to search for extra ways to feel more connected to Christ at Christmas. I need to consciously make the effort to remind myself of his birth, life, mission and sacrifice for me...because there is so much that competes with Christ at Christmas time. The symbols of Christmas, and their meaning, bring me closer to that feeling of connectedness, which fills me with gratitude and love for Christ and all that I have been given. It feels good to realize that I can control what kind of meaning Christmas has for me.
Nativity by Giotto Scrovegni