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The Cross at Christmas

My husband and I have a yearly tradition of buying a new ornament for our Christmas tree. If we go to a new town, we try to find something that would remind us of that place. For each child, we bought a new ornament that represented the year they were born. Our tree is adorned with handmade crafts by all of us in the house. Not every hanging bauble has sentimental value, but most of them do. This year, the new ornament I picked out at a local boutique is a wooden cross decorated with pearls (see picture.)

Some might say "Why would you put a cross on your tree? We are celebrating the BIRTH of Jesus, not His death." Besides that the ornament is made of durable material (my children are too curious and clumsy for a more fragile material), it also reminds me of why we even have Christmas. "Baby Jesus", although worthy to be praised because of who He is, grew up.

If Jesus had not been born, we would not have the Cross. His birth is not the end of the story. We can tell the Nativity story every year, depict it with statues and figurines and books and videos (we are making our own this week!), but we also need to teach that Jesus' story does not end there. The miracle of the Immaculate Conception, God's angels visiting and the star that indicated that He had arrived, are all important. Jesus's birth story fulfilled many prophecies, and He fulfilled others the rest of His life here. The most important for us, though, is that Jesus died on that cross as a sacrifice for each of us, so that we would not have to be separated from the Father in eternity.

Philippians 2:8 (English Standard Version)

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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