December 28th, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 2


You probably shouldn’t hang it on your front door. If you do, make sure you have armed guards around 24–7.

This wreath costs over $4.5 million. The world’s most expensive wreath.

The thing has sixteen rubies and thirty-two diamonds, including a vivid red 17.49 carat ruby, a 3.03 carat yellow diamond, and a Hellebores flower head that has twenty-two loose diamonds totaling 2.64 carats. The jewels are removable and you can recycle them for other displays after Christmas. The greenery, from Finland, is, of course, perishable. The two-foot diameter bejeweled production is creation of Pasi Jokinen-Carter, of Flor Unikon Flowers, in Clerkenwell, U.K.; the florist has, apparently, worked for royalty the world over.

There was no wreath at Bethlehem two millennia ago. In fact, the closest thing to a wreath that Jesus possessed or wore, as far as we know, was a crown of thorns as he was mocked and scourged before his crucifixion.

Perhaps, then, there is a place for wreaths at Christmas. After all, Jesus came to die.

… Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,
being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:5–7

What begins with the incarnation of Jesus, immediately shifts gears to the passion of Jesus.

Being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:8

That’s why he came. That’s Christmas. And that’s why his is the name above every name.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, …
and that every tongue will confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9–11

Maybe we should pay more attention to this all-important reason for the incarnation of Jesus Christ: to pay for the sins of mankind.

The Son of God appeared for this purpose,
to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8

And Jesus accomplished this by his life, death, and resurrection, taking the punishment for our sin, that believers in him might have eternal life with God.

And so we agree with Charles Wesley who, in that great carol of his, declared that Jesus Christ was …

Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Charles Wesley, 1739

In his Christmas carol, “We Three Kings,” John Hopkins sees the second gift of the magi, myrrh, as foreshadowing the death of Christ. And he follows that up with a verse that talks of Christ’s resurrection and refers to him as a “sacrifice.” In a Christmas carol!

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.
John Hopkins, 1857

I think it is quite appropriate to dwell upon Jesus’ sacrifice, even as we celebrate his birth.

He who died. Him we praise. Him we trust. Him we love.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
William Featherston, 1864


  1. Michael Breznau January 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Dr. Kuruvilla,
    Thank you so much for this thoughtful reminder during the often hectic, busy season of Christmas. May God bless you with grace and peace through the power of the Spirit this holiday season! See you at Founder’s Week! 🙂

    • Abe Kuruvilla January 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Michael, thanks.

      Hope all is well with you, the family, and ministry in MI.

      All God’s blessings for 2014.

      Looking forward to catching you at Moody.


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