Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent: Week of Hope: Monday

"'You know the way to the place where I am going.' Thomas said to the him. 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.'" - John 14:4-7
Our hope for salvation is in Christ Jesus. He and He alone is the way, the truth and the life. Draw into a closer relationship with Him by reflecting on who He is, His perfect love, His wonderful grace, His tender mercy, His almighty power and majesty. Take a moment to talk about all the blessings in your life for which you are thankful, and praise Jesus for what He has done for you. With Christ living in you, you can celebrate this Christmas and Advent like you never have before!

You may have noticed that during the Advent season, some churches display the color purple in their sanctuaries, and some display the color blue. And you may have even heard that the color purple is the color of royalty, but do you know why? Well, it all has to do with expensive snails!

Thousands of years ago, when Christ was living on the earth, the color of purple was the most expensive dye to produce- only kings could afford such fashionable extravagance. In fact, one ounce of dye the weight of just five nickels and one penny) cost much more than an entire pound of gold. Why was it so expensive? Believe it or not, the royal dye called tekhelet in Hebrew, was squeezed from snails-- a type of mollusk! the extracts were boiled down and mixed with other chemicals to make just the right color. It would take over 10,000 mollusks to make enough dye for just one toga or robe. The process was lost somewhere in the eighth century AD and people throughout history have spent years trying to recreate the dye because of the mystery over where it was purple or blue.

In ancient documents, the color tekhelet is often described as violet, but other sources refer to it as the same color of the sky or sea, which would mean it was blue. Even today, scientists are analyzing biological, chemical and archaeological data to try and figure it out, but no one has been able to find an answer. Regardless of whether your church chooses to use purple or royal blue in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the meaning is the same. During Advent we prepare the way and honor Christ the Lord, the one true King, with the most royal color we can find.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your great sacrifice on the cross and the gift of salvation and eternal life. Create in me a pure heart and a desire to really know You . I make this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen

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