In many places around the world, doors are decorated with a festive Christmas wreath to welcome guests and celebrate the joy of the season. As you knocked on the door outside the home of a loved one or friend, did you ever wonder about the tradition of the Christmas wreath? The wreath is made with the branches of a pine tree or evergreen tree which do not fade or lose their leaves throughout the year which makes them great reminders of eternal life. Some wreathes are decorated with holly as a reminder of crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus before the crucifixion.
“And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him…”
Jesus was born of a virgin and came to earth to live and die so that those who believe in Him could have abundant life. He did not come to take material possessions from his followers. He did not come to use his power and authority to bring attention to Himself. He came to serve and to give. The life He offers is unique and precious.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Jesus came to offer those who would believe in Him and receive Him as Savior something they cannot find any other way. The word “abundant” which is used in the Greek language means, “beyond measure”. It is an abundance, an amount, a quantity that is much more than a person would expect or imagine. Jesus has an amazing plan for our lives! In fact, he says in 1 Corinthians 2.9 that our minds do not even have the power to anticipate or comprehend what He has planned, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”.
The green branches in the wreath remind us of this new and abundant life that is promised through a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a wonderful reminder of God’s plan – a plan that is so different from ours and also, so much better.
The traditional Christmas wreath also has red holly berries or some type of red ribbon or decoration. This colour has a beautiful message for us, too. Red represents the blood of Jesus poured out on the cross at the hill of Calvary to make a relationship with God possible through the forgiveness of our sins when Jesus died on the cross.
Let’s not forget that most wreaths are shaped in a circle. Even this is an important reminder of our great and awesome God who reigns from everlasting to everlasting just as a circle that never ends. The circular shape also reminds us of the incredible love of God that flows from His throne into our lives. Not only is it continual and unending, but it is beyond description.
As you pass by a door decorated with a wreath or even hang one on your own door to welcome friends and loved ones, may the beauty of the symbols remind you of God’s eternal love and salvation, not just at Christmas, but all throughout the coming year.
Written by Diane Prier for Saar Fellowship