Prophets foretold His Coming: A Family Ornament Tradition


Our banner has been inspired by a family holiday activity that dates back a decade.

When our children were small, my wife wanted to establish a family tradtion at Christmas time. I crafted a series of Ornaments illustrating the prophecies of Christ's coming, and we wrapped them to be unwrapped, one each day, along with a Scripture reading and hung them along a red ribbon on the Christmas Tree.

After a couple of years, we moved the ornaments from the Christmas Tree to the mantle of the fireplace and set aside a single candlelit evening each year to for all the readings, the hanging of the Ornaments, and the unpacking and arranging our Nativity scene, which my wife and I handpainted during a Illinois blizzard. Lacking a mantle, I have now made a special wooden "wreath" with pegs to hold the Ornaments which we hang above the piano during the holidays. Then we did a Banner for the church, using felt images of the various ornaments arranged in a oval.

The Banner represents the Scroll of Scripture unrolled to reveal The coming of Christ to us. It illustrates many of the prophecies of the coming of our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. The dowel ends at the corners have disks and knobs like ancient scrolls.

The Scarlet Thread of Salvation, symbolized by a red ribbon linking the ornaments together, and a scarlet cord on the wooden wreath, has been replaced on our banner by the series of red disks. The beginning of this thread is found in Genesis 3:15, where God promised the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head.

The Star of David represents the Christmas Star foretold by the wicked prophet Balaam in Numbers 24:16-19. The Messiah would come through Isreal.

Jesus is our Prophet, Priest and King:

The Prophet's Scroll brings to mind Deuteronomy 18:17-19, where Moses promised a prophet would come like unto Him. In Luke 4:17-19, Jesus reveals Himself as that prophet when He read from the Scroll of Isaiah, Chapter 61 about His being filled with the Spirit represented by a descending Dove.

The Ark of Covenant represents Jesus' Priestly ministry taught to us in Scripture in Leviticus 17:11, Zechariah 3, and also in Ephesians 1:7-10 and Hebrews 9:12-19. Christ is both High Priest and atoning sacrifice.

The Crown and Sceptre represents Jesus' Kingly rule foretold in Genesis 49:10, I Sam 2:10, and II Sam 7:12-14a,16, as the rightful heir who reigns forever on the Throne of David.

Jesus, being both Divine and Human, brings salvation:

The Trinity Symbol surrounds the name "Immanuel" revealed to us in Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah 9:2,6,7 and 11 reveal this child is "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" and in John 8:12, Jesus states He is the Great "I AM". Isaiah spoke much about the "suffering servant" and the Spirit of the Lord.

The Branch of Holly (in our family traditionally a fresh cut branch) calls to mind the prophecies in Jeremiah 23:5,6 and Zechariah 6:12-13 where Jesus is given the name "Branch" - however this Branch is also the root.

The Shepherd's crook and sheep call to mind the prophecy of Ezekiel 34:11-13,23-25 and John 10:14-16 - Jesus is the good shepherd who lays his life down for his sheep.

The Prophets told us when and where:

The Nativity Scene calls our attention to the prediction in Micah 5:2-5 of the place of His coming - Bethlehem.

The Hourglass represents Daniel's prophecy of the weeks where Daniel 9:25-26 gave a date for His coming, and His being cut off.

The Sun represents the hope of Malachi 3:1 and 4:2 that the Sun of Righteousness would arise both as Judge and with healing in His wings.

The Angel in the center represents the fulfillment of the Prophetic hope as Jesus' Birth was announced to Joseph and Mary in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38.

I have thought that a similar banner on the life of Christ could be designed with events from the Gospel narratives and the passion in the circles.

Barry McWilliams

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