Angel and Trumpet Window
Reflect on the dark blue of the night sky. Isn’t it wonderful how God
gives the world a rest each day? He gives each of us a chance to rest and
be renewed, if we will honor the Sabbath, and rely on Him for our “daily
The Star of Bethlehem was the marker that God placed in the heavens to
guide the Three Kings to the “King of Kings” – Jesus Christ. To reach
their goal, they traveled long distances, and braved many dangers,
including the wrath of King Herod. Are we truly seeking God’s will in our
lives? What sacrifices are we willing to make? Of all the stars, in all the
constellations, in all the corners of the sky, the Wisemen followed only
one star – the true star. What star are you following? Is it the star of
wealth, or pleasure, or the approval of others? Is your star the right star?
The angel has a bright halo. He is the messenger of God Almighty. Yet,
God can have many messengers, many “angels.” Perhaps you are a
messenger of God. Are you available to Him? Will you accept the “call
to service,” and be an angel of love and forgiveness to someone? Who is
that someone? Is a particular face or name coming to you now? Are
you the “angel” God has appointed for this person?
The angel is blowing on a trumpet. The trumpet is not a soft, quiet
instrument. It was used to call troops to arms. Is there someone in your
life who needs to hear the Good News of God’s love through Jesus
Christ? Perhaps you are reluctant to speak, fearing that it may not be the
right time, or that you may not be the right one to do it. Remember, that
it is not who speaks, but the Holy Spirit who speaks through you. You
may be the trumpet that God will choose to use. Pray for wisdom to be
God’s voice of love and hope – at the right time and place – to the person
you care about.
Cross, Crown of Thorns, and Chalice
Reflect on the color purple. It is the color of suffering – of bruises. As
such, it reminds us of the Passion of Christ. He was born in the manger of
Bethlehem, but He was not born to stay a child forever. He had a destiny to
fulfill in the world, and that destiny was fulfilled on the cross. What is your
destiny? Why has God put you on this earth? If you do not yet know your
destiny, will you seek His guidance to find out? Ask Him, now.
The color purple is also the color of kings. This precious dye was made
from the rare murex shell. We acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God,
worthy of all praise and honor. Exalt His name in your heart now: “Holy,
holy, holy Lord. God of all the earth!” Ironically, the King of Kings was
crowned with a crown of thorns on the day of His death. It was the only
crown He ever wore on this earth. In accepting this “crown,” the Lord
Jesus showed us that the true treasures are of heaven, not of earth – of the
Spirit, not the flesh. Often, suffering and sacrifice are the only true
pathway to blessing. Are you struggling with a sorrow or heartbreak in
your life right now? Take a moment, and ask God to show you how God
may indeed be “working for good in all things” in your life. Ask the Lord to
reveal His plan for you, in the midst of your hurt.
As thorns were Christ’s only crown, so the cross was His only throne. The
cross is an “emblem of suffering and shame.” Yet, Jesus said that if we were
to follow Him, we must “take up our cross and follow Him.” What is the
cross that God has appointed for you? Is there a task you’re afraid of, and
are avoiding, but that you know you must some day face? Ask God to give
you courage to stop procrastinating, and take up your appointed cross.
You will find that the Lord Jesus is carrying the heavier end. Be assured
that the joy of true obedience will more than make up for your discomfort.
The “p with the x over it” is the Chi Rho. In Greek, these are the first two
letters of the name “Christ.” This means “Messiah, Anointed One.” Jesus is
the fulfillment of over 300 prophecies by God in the Old Testament, in
which He promises to send a Messiah to His people. Jesus of Nazareth is
the One God promised to send to save the world. Yes, our God is a promise-
keeper! Consider His great promise to you in Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will
be given you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.”
Perhaps you are facing a serious obstacle in your life. Ask God for a way
around the obstacle – ask boldly in faith.
The chalice reminds us of Jesus’ Last Supper in the Upper room, on the
night of His betrayal. The red wine reminds us of the Passover Lamb,
whose blood brought freedom from slavery to Israel. The blood of Jesus at
Calvary, on the other hand, brings freedom from sin to the whole world.
The stalk of wheat reminds us of the unleavened bread, brought out in
haste during the Exodus from Egypt. But, Jesus is the “Bread of Life,”
whose body is broken for all. You have the gift of forgiveness of sins,
because Jesus took your place on the cross. Have you thanked Jesus for
your gift of eternal life? Do so now. Since you are forgiven by the grace of
Christ, can you deny this forgiveness to someone else? Search in your
heart to see if there is someone you need to forgive, and make amends to.
Ask God for the grace and courage to do it.
It’s an empty cross. He’s alive! How electrifying the news must have been
to Mary Magdalene, and Peter, and all the disciples! Jesus Christ has come
back from the dead! In so doing, He proves the reality of life after death.
Eternal life is not a theory for believers, or a vague wish – it is a proven
fact. Death can no longer be the “King of terrors;” it has lost its power of
fear over us forever. What a joyous truth! As Paul writes, “Death, where is
your sting? Grave, where is your victory? Death is swallowed up in life.”
Have you felt this assurance of eternal life in your heart? In the joy of
heaven, we will be reunited with loved ones, who have passed on before us.
Can you think of people now, who blessed your life, whose face and voice
touched and delighted you? You will see them again! Give thanks for the
lives of these dear ones now. And give thanks for the reality of eternal life.
It cost our Lord Jesus a great deal to give you eternal life – indeed, it cost
Him the cross.
Reflect on the color – light blue. It is the color of the sky. We see it every
day, and we take it for granted. Yet, a clear sky, free of storm and wind, is a
sign of God’s gentle grace – almost like the face of God smiling down on the
world. Are you guilty of taking God’s daily blessings for granted? As David
the Psalmist wrote, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His
benefits.” Take a moment to thank God for small miracles: that you awoke
this morning, and were able to get out of bed and come here to God’s
House. Thank Him for a place to stay, and food to eat, and friends to share
it with. The flowers at the bottom of the picture remind us of renewed life
in the spring. How kind it was of God to give us such bright, brilliant
colors! The human eye can see over 500 colors, while most animals in
nature can only see in black and white. Have you thanked God for colors?
Have you thanked Him for eyes to see them with?
Of all the symbols of the Resurrection, the butterfly is perhaps the most
dramatic. The butterfly goes through a complicated life cycle called
“metamorphosis.” It begins life as a fuzzy caterpillar. Then it hides itself
inside a dull, dark cocoon. To all appearances, it is dead. However, it is not
dead at all. Within the secret chamber of its chrysalis, the larva is hard at
work, becoming something new and different. Always remember, just
because we don’t see any progress on the outside, doesn’t mean that God is
not at work on the inside! Finally, the butterfly struggles out and leaves the
old shell behind. It spreads its beautiful wings, and flies away. In the same
way, that Christ was resurrected on Easter, and gives us victory over death,
He also gives us power to be “resurrected” from the prison-cells of limiting
life circumstances. Jesus wants us to be all that we can be – all that God
created us to be. Are you in a cocoon now, looking for a way to break out?
Become a butterfly! Ask Jesus to help you do that now. Ask for the
empowerment of the Holy Spirit in your life.