Once again, we were blessed on Christmas Eve by the talents of our many musicians here at Good Shepherd. The 4:30 pm service began with band members led by Lori Krueger followed by the choir accompanied by Diane Niggemann on the organ. Chryllyn Dums provided guitar accompaniment to the choir at the second service at 7:00 pm. What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Once again, Good Shepherd band and choir members helped celebrate the birth of Jesus and the spirit of love and healing he brought to the world with the beautiful music they shared with us at the 4:30pm Mass on Christmas Eve.
Welcome to this year’s Christmas pageant!
We all like Candy Canes, and most of our homes have them during Christmas. This year’s pageant, “A Candy Cane at Christmas,” explains how the candy cane tells a story about Jesus. We hope you will enjoy it!
Can you tell me what a LEGEND is?
Yes, a legend is a story handed down through many generations. It is believed to have a historical basis, although there is no proof. Can you give me an example of a LEGEND?
I have a legend to tell you about. It’s a legend about the CANDY CANE. A candy maker from Indiana wanted to invent a candy that would witness to Christ Jesus. Do any of you know what kind of candy that could be?
The CANDY CANE! That is right, it’s the candy cane. Mmmm Mmmm!
Let’s examine the candy cane and see how it is a witness to Christ. In Matthew 16:18, God said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Wow, that would be one strong church!
Yes, it is a strong church. It was founded over 2,000 years ago, and it is still going strong. Jesus made Peter the first pope, or leader, for that church. Isn’t that the same church we belong to today?
Yes, it is. Tradition has it that Pope Peter later went to Rome and was martyred there. The pope today is the successor of Peter. He is also called the bishop of Rome. The pope is the leader of the Catholic Church, and that is the Church we belong to today.
Pope Francis is our pope now. He is the new successor of Peter in the Catholic Church. But Jesus Christ remains the HEAD of the Church. And the bishops are the successors of the 12 apostles that once followed Jesus. There are many other religious who do the work of Christ in our Church too. There are Priests, Deacons, Brothers. Oh, yes, and Sisters, which are sometimes called nuns.
But, it takes ALL the baptized to serve in the Church. WE make up the Body of Christ. We all work together and are the hands, the feet, and the voice for Jesus in the world today.
That’s right, we ALL are called to play a special role in the Catholic Church.
So now tell me again about that candy cane. Just how is the candy cane like Jesus? The candy cane was made of rock-hard candy to represent the Church being built on a solid rock. God’s promises stand on a firm foundation.
It has to be rock-solid in order to last since the time of Christ!
The candy maker then made the candy in the form of a letter. What letter is that?
That’s right, the letter J. And, of course, the letter J stands for… Jesus! Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
If you turn the J upside down, you have a … STAFF!
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
That’s right, the candy cane also represents a staff with which Jesus, the Good Shepherd reaches down to the lowly places of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.
The candy maker made the cane white to represent Jesus’ innocence. Jesus was perfect. He was tempted in every way, just as we are. Yet, he was still without sin.
This red stripe is for the blood Jesus shed for our sins on the cross. In Jesus, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Also, the flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop.
Hyssop is an aromatic plant from the mint family. It was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice.
Jesus is the pure Lamb of God. He came to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world.
So that’s why candy canes are seen mostly at Christmas time: That is when Jesus first came to us, as an infant in the manger.
Yes, it’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who came to save the whole world. That an important message the birth of Jesus brings for us. It should be told to the whole world!
Wow, the candy cane is a great reminder of why Jesus came into the world.
Yes, in John 10:10, Jesus tells us, “I came so that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”
Yes, Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He came because he loves us.
So next time you see a candy cane, remember this important message:
JESUS CHRIST, THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS THE SINLESS ROCK OF ALL AGES WHO SUFFERED AND DIED FOR OUR OUR SINS.
Thank you for coming today. We hope you enjoyed our pageant. Please join us in singing Joy to the World. Following that, we welcome you into the parish hall for refreshments—AND for some CANDY CANE treats!
TIME FOR SOME FUN!
Good Shepherd band and choir members helped celebrate the birth of Jesus and the spirit of love and healing he brought to the world with the beautiful music they shared with us at the 4:30pm Mass on Christmas Eve.
THE TWELVE SYMBOLS OF CHRISTMAS
You may think the symbols of Christmas have nothing to do with Jesus and his love for us. But, you will see that they are all connected to Jesus in some way:
The Evergreen Tree
Bows and Ribbons
The Candy Cane
THE TWELVE SYMBOLS OF CHRISTMAS
It’s Time to Celebrate!
What is the Gift of Love Tree? For the last several years Good Shepherd has a special tree set up in the shrine area of our church at Christmas. Anyone is able to purchase paper ornaments we have to decorate the tree. The names of your living and deceased friends and relatives will be listed on the ornaments. These ornaments are special, because those named on the ornaments (including yourself–who is named on the back of the ornament), will be prayed for at all of our Christmas Masses. What a true Gift of Love!
How does one purchase these ornaments? Click on the link below to access the form. Clearly print the names of those you want on the ornaments. For example: “Sally Doe” or “Sally & John Doe” or “The John & Sally Doe Family.” Space is limited on the ornaments, so no more than a couple names will work per ornament. Your cost is $2 per ornament. Your name should be listed on the bottom of the form so we know who purchased the ornaments. We will include your name(s) on the backside of the ornaments. Use an extra sheet of plain paper for additional names, if needed. When the tree is taken down in January, you will be able to pick up your ornaments any time that month at the parish office, if you want to keep them.
Please return your forms to the parish office before December 20th. Call the office if you have questions, 715-427-5259.