Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Candy Cane at Christmas


A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane.

He incorporated several symbols from the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane -- a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear."

Every time you see a Candy Cane, remember the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas, and that His Love remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

Thanks to my friend Dran for this email!


Susan Smith said...

Hi Christine:

God's timing is always perfect. Just last week, a volunteer with my organization asked me where he could find candy canes to buy. I told him I have never seen any here in Jerusalem.

Now I know why.

Merry Christmas to the West Coast from my home near Bethlehem. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

Do you think that many people in Israel know or understand the significance of the candy cane? Do you think that they deliberately do not have them available for purchase because of the spiritual meaning and reference to Jesus Christ?

Have a very blessed Christmas in the Holy Land!


Anna said...

Hi Christine!

I first heard this story on Christian radio. Last week, at a Women's Christmas Dinner, they gave out a beaded ornament with the story attached.

I don't think many people are familiar with the story. Thanks for the post.


Susan Smith said...

My thoughts are that few people in the U.S. or in Israel know the story you shared about the candy cane.

I do not KNOW (please forgive my earlier post saying "Now I know why"... I stumbled with words and lied) if the availability of candy canes here has anything to do with it. There are many things that are not available here such as Hershey's chocolate. You cannot find a candy kiss in Jerusalem. I have also never seen Kraft mayonnaise (my favorite) or "fitted" sheets for a bed.

Hope you have a Christ-filled week on the West Coast. Love from the the City of Peace. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

My Dear Susan!

Please don't say that you lied, because you didn't!!

It is very possible that this story behind the candy cane was well known in the past. If so, then it may have fueled Israel's rejection of the popular Christmas candy way back when. This may explain why they are never seen there.

I can't recall exactly when I first heard about the candy cane story, but it was sometime back when I still lived at home with my parents. It was either in middle school or high school. That was in the late 60's early 70's.

These days, even if just one person got ahold of the story and objected, the exposure of such an incident would be widespread. I think that this is what may have happened a few years ago when controversy erupted in the case of a kindergarten boy who handed out candy canes to his public school classmates. If I recall the story correctly, an atheist parent of one of the students complained. Why would that parent complain unless he/she knew about the significance of the candy cane as a Christian symbol?

These days, it doesn't even take much detailed knowledge for controversy to come up over Christmas and Christian symbols! It's beyond ridiculous, IMO.

Thanks for your good, Christ-filled wishes! Our family strives to keep Christ in Christmas. We have many tree ornaments that I have collected over the years that represent spiritual, Christian significance. Some have Bible verses on them, others have statements like, "Christ is Lord," "A Savior is born," "Jesus is the reason for the season," etc. One of my favorites is a painted dough ornament of the word, "Joy" which my son made for me back in 1989!

What saddens me is that it has become increasingly more difficult to find ornaments like these anymore! I need to get busy and create/make some of my own!

Blessings, love, peace, and joy to you this Christmas season my dear sister Susan!


Susan Smith said...

Christine said: "Please don't say that you lied, because you didn't!!"

Oh yes I did, my friend. I said "Now I know why" when I knew nothing. Lies are often said out of ignorance and/or arrogance. We all stumble in many things (see JAM 3:2) and for me... stumbling with my words is easy to do and often the root cause is pride.

Confessing our sins to one another is spiritually healthy. When we confess, He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse us of our unrighteousness (see 1JO 1:9).

Love from the nation where the Messiah was born! (ss)

Christinewjc said...

I don't think that assuming something is the same thing as lying about it... you may have surmised that the religious meaning of the candy cane could possibly be the reason why they are not found in Israel. Who knows? With a little more research we may find out that your assumption was indeed, correct! If not, no harm done (IMO). There must be a reason why they aren't sold there. Maybe it is similar to the reasons why Hershey kisses and Kraft mayo isn't available.

If you feel better confessing as you did, then perhaps you needed to do that. After all, Jesus is faithful to forgive!

I've been meaning to tell you about a commercial that is airing here in the U.S. It is done by a Jewish Messianic group. They quote Isaiah 53:5 - "But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Next, the woman in the commercial says, "That sounds like the New Testament." The man says, "No, it's from the Old Testament, our Hebrew Bible." He then repeats, "He was bruised for our iniquities..." He thinks about it for a second, then says, "Is Jesus our Messiah?"

I know it isn't shown there, but I was wondering what you think the typical reaction to such a commercial would be in Israel?

Susan Smith said...

Assuming something is true that is not true and voicing it in words is a lie out of ignorance... Want an example from my past? I used to say, "God made me gay." The horse has stopped breathing now.

The reaction here about the commercial you mentioned would be outrage from the orthodox community and probably "who cares" from the secular Jews. (IMO)

Christine, I'm getting sleepy. (ss:)

Susan Smith said...

Today, Tuesday, I asked a Jewish immigrant (believer) I work with about the commercial and he agreed with my opinion. He also asked is this a radio or TV commercial? (ss)

Christinewjc said...

It's a T.V. Commercial.

Next time it airs, I will pay closer attention to which group sponsored the commercial. I don't think it was Jews for Jesus.

We have had a Messianic Rabbi visit my former church, on occasion. His name is Barney Kasdan. He gave us a lot of insight re: the Jewish roots of Christianity and the reasons for the Jewish holidays celebrated each year. It was quite interesting!

However, I have heard that some religious Jews who are still awaiting their Messiah feel that Messianic Jews (who believe that Jesus is the true, one and only Messiah) are often regarded as traitors. How unfortunate!

I recall an interview of Billy Graham done by Larry King on his CNN show. Billy asked a poignant question. He asked (paraphrased here), 'If Jesus came back today, Larry, what would you ask Him?' Larry replied (paraphrased here), 'Is this your first or second visit?'

Isn't Larry's answer fascinating?? What do you think of his answer?

Susan Smith said...

I do not have any thoughts on Larry King's answer.

Messianic Jewish believers are indeed regarded as "traitors" by the orthodox Jews. A daughter of one of our volunteers married a young Jewish man who became a believer. His family disowned him and my friend on staff was concerned about his physical safety.

Orthodox Jews do not believe it is possible to be a Jew AND a Christian. I guess a comparable statement would be saying one is an athiest AND a Christian. Though there ARE atheist Jews who are accepted by the Jewish people. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

That's O.K. that you have no comment about Larry's answer. Didn't mean to put you on the spot! I just found it so fascinating that Larry (being Jewish by heritage, I have been told, but not sure of his religious beliefs) would even admit the possibility that Jesus could be the Messiah Whom current day Jews are awaiting.

Your last paragraph is very interesting, too. If I am reading what you posted correctly, (please correct me if I'm not!) it seems that some Jews believe it's better to be an atheist than a Christian? Wow...

Susan Smith said...

No, no, no, my friend. That is not what I meant, though you might be correct in what you said...

I was trying to think of a comparable statement about how Jewish people feel about Christians. It is not possible in most Jewish minds for one to be both a Christian AND Jewish. In other words, if you are a Christian, then you cannot possibly be a Jew in most Jewish minds. Jewish people believe God is Spirit and God cannot be flesh; therefore, Jesus cannot possibly be God in the flesh.

I am staying up a bit later since Stephen is not uploading his programs until 11:30 AM EST... that is 6:30 PM my time! I do not know how much longer I can continue this "night life" stuff. It does something to my brain if I stay on the Internet after dark.

Love to the West Coast from Jerusalem where the Messiah walked in the flesh! (ss:)

Susan Smith said...

This was in our Tuesday evening news here:

"Gunmen raid Bethlehem city hall
Also Tuesday, Palestinian gunmen stormed the city hall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem overlooking the Church of the Nativity, only to end the standoff several hours later.

The 20 militants from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group in Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah group, swept into the building on Manger Square and forced workers out, interrupting preparations for the Christmas season.

Israel Radio reported that the standoff ended after Palestinian Authority officials conceded to the gunmen's demand to be given their salaries."

Chances are, you never see this small stuff in your U.S. news, but since it is near Christmas and this happened in Bethlehem, thought I would share. (ss)