I never knew about the meaning of the Christmas wreath, where it originated, or how it relates to the true meaning of Christmas. The wreath was just a pretty decoration that took on many looks for the holiday season. There is more hidden meaning to a wreath or the circle that is not plainly understood by many.
Christmas wreath signifies:
• everlasting life
• Jesus's blood and the
• circle of life that is forever
Since the circle has no beginning and no end, many believe it represents God's love for us, which has no beginning and no end. In other words, God loves us through thick and thin, the good and the bad, regardless of what daily challenges we are struggling through.
The holly branches have red berries and red thorns. The thorns represent the thorn on Jesus' crown, while the berries show the blood Jesus shed for us when he was crucified.
Evergreens are used in the Christmas wreath and live through winter, which some people say shows the strength of life. The evergreen stays green all year round and the color green can represent a new beginning, hope, and restoration.
Knowing just a little about the meaning of a Christmas wreath helps us understand and better remember the true meaning of Christmas. It's amazing to think how much significance is represented in the meaning of Christmas symbols like the wreath. Let’s see where else the “circle” appears in our lives and what it represents.
Exchanging of Rings
While the wedding ring is an outward symbol of the couple's inward bond, the unending circle illustrates the eternal quality of love. A ring is used as a seal of authority. When pressed into hot wax, the impression of the ring leaves an official seal on legal documents. Therefore, a couple wearing wedding rings is demonstrating their submission to God's authority over their marriage. The couple recognizes that God brought them together and that he is intricately involved in every part of their covenant relationship. A ring also represents resources. When the couple exchanges wedding rings, this symbolizes the giving of all their resources as in wealth, possessions, talents, and emotions to the other in marriage. A circle of hope, love, trust, or belief has been formed.
Genesis 9:12-16 New International Version (NIV) 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
The rainbow is a symbol of God's faithfulness and his promise to never again destroy the earth by flood. The rainbow arches high over the horizon, and shows the never ending love of God's faithfulness through his work of grace. God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ is for everyone to enjoy who wants to be saved.
John 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV) 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Just as the wreath, wedding ring, and rainbows are all symbols of faith or belief, hope, trust, and love, so is baptism.
Baptism is a symbol. It’s meant to show the world that that you love, trust, and have put your hope in Christ. An unspoken circle of love, trust, and hope that can be shown outwardly.
Anyone can be a believer in Christ, but not baptized, and their sins are still paid for and forgiven by God. So, baptism is a statement to yourself and everyone who sees it that you have trusted Christ for your salvation and you are committed to living for Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version (NIV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!
Romans 6:4 New International Version (NIV) 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Baptism does not make you a believer. Baptism shows that you already are a believer! Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does.
Faith is often thought of as something that requires blind trust, because no evidence exists to confirm it. This is not how the Bible defines faith. Consider the biblical definition of faith: a confident trust or belief in God that is often based on recognizing God’s nature and His loyalty to His promises.
Hebrews 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV) 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
As we celebrate on Sunday, December 30th @ 10:30 am as others are being baptized, think about joining us and renewing for yourself your own circle/covenant/commitment of faith, love and trust in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Its a great way to finish the year and start the new year with great expectations and with renewed minds and hearts.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!