The Poinsettia

Luke 2:10-11 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (NKJV)

Christmas is truly a time of great joy for Christians. In Bermuda, where I grew up, the poinsettia reflects the joy of Christmas. It grows into a tall tree covered with magnificent, red flowers, heralding the coming of Christmas. The poinsettia is native to Mexico, where it was called Cuetlaxochitl by the ancient Aztec peoples. Its name meant "flower that withers; mortal flower that perishes like all that is pure." In the seventeenth century, Franciscan missionaries settled in an area of southern Mexico where, for the first time, the flaming, wild flower became a part of a Christmas ceremony. When we read of its origin, it is no wonder that it became the "Christmas flower", and it is known as such to this day.

When I came to Canada, I was struck by the huge display of poinsettias outside the stores at Christmas. But look again they are flowers in pots! Ugh! I miss the flowering poinsettia trees in the back garden in Bermuda. There is nothing more beautiful than the poinsettia trees blowing in the wind. But the poinsettia reflects more than beauty. To some, its red flowers signify the blood of Christ, and its white flowers speak to us of the purity of the Baby born in a manger, Who brings light to a dark and dismal world.

Let's buy a poinsettia and rejoice it is Christmas! When we think of the beautiful poinsettia trees moving gently to and fro in the wind, singing, as it were, the praises of God, let us also gladly sing along with carols and hymns that tell of what a wonderful gift to us is Jesus the Christ, Who saves us from the effects of evil. In Him, not only at Christmas, but also each day throughout the year, we are purified with the truth which we have found in Jesus.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son Jesus to save the world from sin and evil. Each Christmas, You remind us of the beauty of Your grace as the poinsettia waves in the wind. Thank You, Lord, for coming into the world to save sinners like us. We rejoice in knowing Jesus, and we seek to spread His gospel through the sharing of this beautiful flower, the poinsettia, and singing His praises. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Iris Ford Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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