It was a chaotic few minutes before the bell rang to begin our school day. The last day before Christmas break. A day of excited students, gift exchanges, and craziness. One student approached my desk, flashed his bright smile, and handed me a gift. What I found inside was the beautiful cross pictured above. As I held the carefully crafted cross in my hand, time stopped for a brief moment as God whispered in my heart to remember the birth of Jesus, to forget the chaos of the day, and to just focus on Him and experience the peace of Christmas.
The beautiful beads on this cross are a reminder of the miraculous birth of a Savior. A baby whose birth had been prophesied hundreds of years before. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). A precious baby lying in a manger who did not make a grand entrance but instead made a humble entrance into the world. She gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them (Luke 2:7).
The nails reminded me that Christmas is not just about the birth of Jesus; it is also about the cross. The sacrifice of God’s only begotten son. 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 (John 3:16) It is about the Savior of the world who humbly came from heaven to earth as a baby, ministered to common people, and ultimately, gave His life to save us from sin.
The wire strung through each bead, twisted into place, then wrapped securely to hold each bead in place represents all the obstacles of Jesus conception, birth, ministry, and life. None of this was part of Mary and Joseph’s original plan for their lives. It would have been easy for them to view all of these twists and turns as a mess, but they chose instead to trust God’s almighty wisdom and power to string each detail, twist every obstacle, and work out every kink into a beautiful account of Jesus coming from the glory of heaven, becoming fully man, and bringing the gift of salvation.
This Christmas, don’t forget that hope and peace can only be found in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Take time to slow down and focus on Him.