I’ve got an old mason jar tucked away in my jewelry chest. Some of my most precious possessions are inside.
Now, if you saw it, you may think the jar is full of dried up, tired, mismatched potpourri, all different shades of faded brown and gray — not very attractive! But I’ve been intentional about what I have put in this jar for the last 30 years.
To me, this old mason jar is beautiful.
Within the antique blue glass are the petals from the first roses Phil gave me on Valentine’s Day when we were dating. Mixed in with those are rose petals from my bridal bouquet along with petals from the roses he gave me on our first wedding anniversary. They are joined by petals from the dozen roses he brought me when our first son was born.
Over the years, I’ve added more petals. If you look through the hazy glass, you can see miniature buds from the corsage I wore on Mother’s Day after our second son was born. The tiny, dried blossom reminders of my grandmother’s funeral are also scattered within the potpourri, along with faded pieces from roses my sons gave me after one of my speaking events.
Though each blossom and petal are different, what they all have in common is that they were each part of a beautiful rose bouquet that was precious to me.
I have another Rose that is precious to me but it isn’t in my old mason jar. It is a Rose that first sprung up in ancient Bethlehem.
It blossomed in a garden of poor, ordinary, faithful parents, beneath the pure light of a bright star.
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The beauty of the Rose was first seen by some ordinary shepherds and later by some very wise men. Both the humble and high were granted access to the Rose.
In the Song of Solomon, seekers and scholars through the years have seen the Rose, the most beautiful Rose of all times, the Rose of Sharon — Jesus Himself.
Jesus is the Rose.
Just as a rose is the chief of flowers for its beauty and fragrance, our Jesus is the preeminent object of our desire. The sweetness of His fragrant life and words add beauty to our dull and colorless world.
For Christ to be the Rose of Sharon shows that He is the rose for all.
Sharon was the ancient place where roses grew in fields, plenty and lovely.
Jesus was not a rose that sprung up in a greenhouse, reserved for the rich or elite. No, He blossomed in a humble manger, where all could see, touch, and receive Him.
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His gospel is for all — rich, poor, old, young, seeker, and skeptic.
I love this Rose.
The fragrant Rose of Sharon causes each of us to breathe in His beauty. Yet, when you come to the manger to see the Rose, you will notice that it is wet with dew – the tears of mourning that remind us that He was the Rose destined to wear thorns and to shed the beauty of His scarlet petals for you and for me.
He did, my friend. You are the reason He brought His beauty to this earth.
You are the reason, I am the reason. It was for our sin the beautiful Rose came and was crushed. And, we were the reason the Rose arose.
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So, this year, maybe you need to add a rose to your poinsettia to remind you of the true Flower of Christmas?
This Christmas season, let’s not tuck away the beauty of the Rose of Sharon in a treasure box with all our other sweet memories or keepsakes.
Let’s wear the Rose upon our hearts, upon our lives. It will make this holiday even brighter and more beautiful.
Happy Christmas season my friends!
What ways do you and your family keep Jesus at the center of your Christmas celebrations? Share your family traditions or new ideas in the comments.