Silhouettes of the Cross

Christmas is a time of joy, of fulfillment, of promise. But the True joy of Christmas is not to be found in the birth of Christ — though that is hope promised. Rather, the true joy of Christmas is found as we look through the nativity star to the cross — which is hope fulfilled. In Christmas we can see silhouettes of the cross.

I cannot help but see the

Silhouette of the cross

In the face of Joseph.

It had been a long journey, and a most difficult one. His was the responsibility for a virgin, great with child. His was the responsibility for the Christ-child. And what had he found? A filthy stable as a place for the Son of God to be born. His was now the awesome burden of raising and nurturing the God-man. To him had been entrusted the life of the Church of God. To him was given the complicated task of both teaching and yet always learn­ing from his child, who was not his, but God’s . . .who       was GOD! I can well imagine that his face stood out in bas-relief in the flickering half-light of the stable. But the Angel of God had told him to fear not, truly God was with him now. How could it be otherwise? He had sent His Own Son to bring him into eternity! Joseph saw in this babe the Son of God, and because he, after the help of the Angel could see God in this Child, he bore the silhouette of the cross.

I cannot help but see the

Silhouette of the cross in the heart

Of the Virgin mother.

Hers was surely a unique experience. To be impregnated with the very life of God, to bear the Child who would carry the sins of the Church throughout history was joy without measure. It had been many months since the Angel had told her of the special place God had chosen for her. She had rejoiced with Elizabeth in the knowledge that through her the promise given to Abraham was to be re­alized. She was filled with the overwhelm­ing power and mercy of Jehovah.

And yet she, too, must have been weary after her long and painful journey. And now, to bear a child — her first-born — in a stable. But God was there. He was there in the presence of the Holy Ghost, he was there in the presence of His Son incarnate. God was there, He could hardly go un­noticed. His Son was born! God had come, and no amount of weariness or disappoint­ment could change that glorious fact. Christ was born! Mary’s heart must have been bursting with joy of God’s greatness. A double happiness was hers, for her first- born, a son, was the Son of God! He was the Son of God, come to lead her, along with the rest of the Church, into eternity. How could she, having this knowledge, not bear the silhouette of the cross?

But more than in the face of Father Joseph, more than in the heart of the Virgin Mother,

I cannot help but see the

Silhouette of the cross

In the gentle Babe.

A baby born, how thrilling! A life to make a home. A flower, tender as the dawn, a breath of hope, a wind-born song. A babe is born, the CHRIST is born, and in His soul he carries the knowledge of the heaven left, the hell to come, the cross he never will cease to bear. The Christ is born with the single God-ordained purpose of delivering His Church. And this deliver­ance, this cross-bearing must begin at birth and cannot cease until hell is fought and conquered. The Christ is born, and

I cannot help but see the

silhouette of the cross.

The silhouette of the cross … a sil­houette, not a shadow. A shadow is dark­ness in the light, a sadness in the heart. I see a silhouette, not a shadow, for this silhouette was the promise of hope ful­filled.

Joseph, Mary, the Christ Child, all bore the silhouette of the cross. But they did not bear it alone. This silhouette of the cross has been born by the covenant seed for countless generations to come. We bear the silhouette of the cross, for we bear in our souls, seared as though with a flame, the salvation of Christ, the Promise ful­filled. So this Christmas, look through the nativity star to the cross. Hear the sil­houette of the cross in your heart, show it in your life, and rejoice, for Christ is born!