Some stories of Christmas traditions can be quite fanciful and touching. One such legend involves the poinsettia flower and its usage at Christmas. You may have heard it. It goes like this: A little girl from Mexico named Pepita was on her way to the Christmas Eve service. She was sad because she had no present to give the baby Jesus. As she walked to the church, her cousin Pedro tried to brighten her spirits by reminding her that even the smallest gift from her would certainly make Jesus very happy. Well, Pepita didn’t know what she should bring to the church, so she scooped up a handful of weeds along the way. She was embarrassed by what she was bringing, but she continued to think about what Pedro had told her. Once she drew near the nativity scene, the weeds suddenly turned into a beautiful bouquet of gorgeous red flowers. Those who saw it claimed it a miracle. And, as the tale goes, that’s how the “Flowers of the Night” (Flores de Noche Buena) were tied in with Christmas.
St. Luke’s account detailing the wonderful events of that first Christmas eve, the night of our Savior’s birth, surely transcends every whimsical story associated with the Christmas traditions. This divinely inspired record of the incarnation of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners is the miracle of all miracles. Yet its factuality bears truth beyond direct accuracy for world history. The story of our Savior’s birth at Bethlehem is personal for each of us. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
The magnificent red poinsettias adorning our sanctuaries or at the base of our trees at home can serve as the powerful reminder of how the red blood of Jesus was needed to atone for every one of our sins. “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sins.” Bethlehem and Calvary, along with the empty tomb, are factual events securing our forgiveness of sins before God, and assuring us that by faith in the Christ-child we will enjoy eternal life. What an uplifting message! May it carry us through every moment on our journey here below until that glorious day!
We now are moved to express our thanks to God for His gift to us.Bringing our own “meager bouquets” before his manger, we also include our gratitude for every one of you as the Lord makes use of you and your talents for promoting His kingdom of grace.
Have a truly blessed Christmas!
–President John Moldstad