Saturday, 4 January 2014

Candy Cane

By Lucy Wall

As I was taking down the decorations after Christmas 2013 my Mother-In-Law started to tell me about the Christian symbolism behind the candy cane and I was completely intrigued by what she said. Although I had seen the popular confectionary every year during the Christmas season I had never realised that it had Christian meanings in it's origins. I decided to read up about it online and discovered that there are some mixed reviews as to the meanings behind the candy cane.

Whether or not this Christmas treat truly has it's beginnings based in Christianity I'm not sure, nor do I think it's hugely important. After all, it is only a sweetie! The real meaning of Christmas however will always be about the birth of Jesus Christ and I felt that even if the Christian symbolism was added to the candy cane in later years, it was still a great opportunity to write a poem and share the true message of Christmas.

One thing is for sure, from now on whenever Christmas comes around and I see those red stripes wrapping around the white candy cane, it'll always turn my thoughts towards Jesus Christ and the blood my Saviour shed for me.

I see you little candy cane, a cheery Christmas sight!
A gentle curve of peppermint with stripes of red and white.
A simple little festive treat, I've seen you times before.
I hear you have a secret though, your presence means much more.

Your core is made of vibrant white, a symbol there to show
That Christ was born of virgin birth, His life was pure as snow.
You speak of how His back was flogged with three slim stripes of red.
A thicker stripe that spirals down says Jesus' blood was shed.

A challenge for the dentures, you're a hard and chewy treat!
The goodness of the Gospel found within your taste so sweet.
Your firm and solid density may give the jaw a shock
But this reflects God's promise, He's our Refuge and our Rock.

I find your shape intriguing as a slender pole and hook.
Your form can tell a story just as well as any book
For if I turn you upside down what message do you say?
You mark the name of Jesus as I see the letter "J."

But when you stand with head held high and hanging from your hook,
I see a reassuring shape just like a Shepherd's crook.
For we like sheep had wandered far and all had gone astray
So Jesus the Good Shepherd came to save and show the Way.

I thought you'd kept your meaning to yourself quite sneakily
But you wear your every symbol like a coat for all to see!
I realise with every twist you glorify God's name.
A peppermint delight, what a clever candy cane!

Although there are the sceptics who say you are a fake,
You wouldn't be the first to be denied for Jesus' sake!
Take comfort little candy cane, it isn't you they mock;
It's the one you represent and He's the Everlasting Rock!

Though some deny your origins they have not eyes to see
But now I know your tale it's what you'll always mean to me.
So thank you little candy cane for all the truth you bring.
Proclaim your Christmas message, Jesus Christ the Risen King!

Luke 2:6-20
"So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."

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