Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 14


December 14 – Chi Rho

John 1:40‑41

In his book on the life of the Emperor Constantine, the Church Father Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 A.D.), wrote that prior to the final battle against Maxentius in the Saxa Rubra, Constantine decided that the fight would be carried not by armies, but by divine favor.  He considered his predecessors, fighting in the names of many deities for fear of offending any and hoping for help from all.  Without exception, they failed and perished.   He resolved to fight only in the name of the God of his father, Constantius, and prayed to Him.  Eusebius then wrote “while he was praying, God sent him a Vision of a Cross of Light in the Heavens at Mid-day, with an Inscription admonishing him to conquer by that.”  This vision was the chi-rho, an ancient monogram of Christ that comes from the first two letters of the Greek word XPICTOC (pronounced Christos).   In the ensuing battle, Constantine’s Army of Gaul won a total victory, and Maxentius perished while fleeing with his defeated army over the Bridge at Milvian, which spanned the Tiber river and led into Rome (27 Oct 312 A.D.).  Constantine later made Christianity legal in the Roman empire, rejecting the violent persecutions of Christians under his predecessor Diocletian (235-284 A.D.). 

The chi-rho comes from “chi”, written “X” in Greek and “rho”, written “P” in Greek.  This symbol is the oldest one in use and is often called a “Christogram”.   Simplifying the symbol, the X stands for Christ and is used in Xmas, an abbreviation for Christmas.

Like many of the symbols, the X is found everywhere in our environment, whether man-made or natural.  In the providence of God, He has given us many symbols to remind us of Him and His goodness to us.  They are also useful ways to communicate God’s blessings to those who do not know Him.  During this holiday season and throughout the New Year, take advantage of the opportunities you have to share your faith. Speak boldly for Christ and share your blessings with others. You and they will be glad you did.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

 

Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see
A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepard boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light

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