Wednesday, August 31, 2011
It occurs to me that when I posted my first two Christmons, I never bothered to explain them. That's actually one of the major things about a Christmon tree, it is essential that you know the meanings of the symbols you are making. I have the book from the Danville church who has pioneered the beaded Christmons with a lot of different explanations. The symbols actually get quite complicated. These two are still Christmons even though they aren't beaded (Christmon being a Christ monogram).
It's important to note that symbols were very prevalent in the early church. The church was underground since it was illegal to be a Christian in the Roman empire until the time of Constantine. If it was discovered you were a Christian, well, you were in trouble. Emperor Nero was known for making Christians torches in his garden or feeding them to sea snakes. The symbols helped them communicate but yet were mundane enough that other people wouldn't catch on their true meaning.
Fish - Many of Jesus' early disciples were fisherman. When Jesus was calling his first disciples, he said, "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt 4:19). From this passage, it makes sense that the fish was a Christian symbol as Christians are called to go out and spread the good news. You may notice the Greek letters in the middle of the fish. They actually spell "fish" in Greek. In the early church, this was a monogram for "Jesus Christ, God's Son."
Alpha and Omega - Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. The Alpha and Omega symbol is a direct reference to Revelation 1:8 which says "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." It's basically like God saying "I'm A to Z and I cover everything inbetween." It's a reference to God being eternal.
Hope I haven't bored you too much. Not a lot of stitching going on but I have been working on the quilt at work (that way Zoé doesn't see).