HOLLY: Holly is an extremely hardy shrub that can be grown in all fifty states of the United States, making it one of the few plants that can withstand temperatures from 110 degrees F to – 40 degrees F. The four hundred species of holly, ranging from dwarf holly plants six inches high to huge holly trees seventy feet tall, are native to all the continents except Antarctica and Australia. Holly plants are noted for their attractive red berries and glossy, sharp-toothed green leaves which remain on the plant year round. The holly bush represents immortality, a trait that God has given to each human being. We are all destined to live forever, either with the Lord or separated from Him. The sharp-toothed edge of the holly leaf reminds Christians of the crown of thorns with which the soldiers mocked Our Lord during His Passion. They laughingly hailed Him as king, never realizing that He is, indeed, King of the universe. As a Christmas symbol, the red holly berry represents Christ’s blood, shed for all people including those who reject Him.
We have arrived at day nine of our Christmas journey and we have discovered holly, I love the look of holly and it’s red berries. I love that I fell upon this story of its’ meaning because it fits nicely into the Christmas picture. Even though not originally in the birth story, it has a nice way of fitting in. I really enjoy the ending which states His blood was shed for all people for this leads me back to yesterday when we discussed how we should be helping those shunned by society.
God sent His son so that all shall live and none have to perish. If, however we are not spreading the gospel or living lives according to God’s purpose in our lives, then how is everyone going to know Jesus died for our sins? So many people feel there is no way out of the messes they are in. So many lost and hungry sheep to be led back to green pastures. Why not take this Christmas season and talk about what Jesus did for all of us, let’s not wait until it is Easter time.
We as Christians are called to spread the Good News to everyone we meet. Why not start a conversation in the grocery line or at the bank? There are several opportunities daily when a Jesus conversation can be sparked and some times it can start by just talking about what you are thankful for. So this Christmas I feel God is trying to get our focus off from the “stuff” of Christmas and towards the real reason we even have a holiday to celebrate. Where would Christmas be without Christ? Sure we have lots of traditions and ways of celebrating Christmas, but in all reality, it really did start in a manger with a little baby boy named Jesus.