Come now, and let’s settle this, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow. If they are red as crimson, they will become like wool. Isaiah 1:18
Recently, I started reading a book called Red: The Color of Christmas by Greg Laurie; it has made me realize how important colors are to us. When we see green and red together, we automatically think of Christmas. Yet, one of the most famous movies ever made revolves around the magic that happens with a White Christmas. Elvis once sang Blue Christmas. It turns out there is a great deal of meaning in the colors we see at Christmas.
Blue, the color probably seen least, was often associated with Mary. Blue paint or dye in New Testament times was even more expensive than gold and represented something of great value. Gold, of course, was very valuable, and was one of the gifts that the Wise Men offered to baby Jesus. It also represents the star that led to Bethlehem. Gold is associated with fire, a means of warmth and comfort. White traditionally represents purity; Isaiah has written that our sins will be forgiven, becoming snow white.
While green had long been a symbol of the coming of spring and better weather, it was during the middle ages in Europe that red and green were tied together in the tradition of bringing a pine tree inside and hanging apples on it to make what was called the Paradise tree. This was a reminder of the paradise created by God for Adam and Eve, with the apple representing human sin, causing expulsion from the garden. Later holly was introduced, the green again signifying the coming of spring with hope for the future, but even more importantly, the red berries representing the blood of Christ. It is Christmas that ties the red of those apples, representing the fall of man, to the red of the blood of Christ. Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29b).
Prayer: Holy God, As I enjoy the colors and pageantry of the Christmas season, never let me forget it truly is about the blood of the Lamb that you sent to us. Amen.