Monday, December 10, 2012

Room in the N?

I don't know whether I can prove this or not, but last week I invented a Chrismon.

A what?  OK, here's the quick catch up lesson for the non-liturgical types.  Chrismons came into popular use thanks to a Lutheran church in Danville, VA. You can google all this and find out lots.  In short, your church, or one near you (check with the Lutherans of you need to) probably has a Chrismon tree.  Every ornament on the tree has something to do with Jesus.

Here's my story.  I was preparing a devotion on making room in your home and heart for Jesus.  I searched for some simple clip art showing Jesus in the manger to go along with the devotion.  I finally found one that was made with simple pen strokes.

Now I can't give you all the insight into how my mind works--lest we bog down the internet. I should confess that this symbol that helps tell the story of Jesus began with a certain amount of mischief.  As I thought along the line of "no room in the in", I found out that I could make a manger by drawing baby Jesus at rest in the diagonal of the letter "N".  Oh yes there IS room in the N!

So, I changed my plan and began to work on a baby in the manger Chrismon using the letter N.  The easy way, I figured was to put an R in the N's diagonal.  That's when I stumbled onto making a Chrismon that told two stories.

A number of Chrismons are Greek letters transposed on each other. Some examples include the Chi-Rho, Alpha and Omega, and the Ichthus Wheel.  I found out that I could make my "N manger" by transposing the Latin letters INRI on top of each other.

INRI are the first letters of the Latin inscription "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which Pilate had placed on top of Jesus' cross.  So, now I have managed in one Chrismon to tell the story of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:1-7) and the story of his death (John 19:16-22) --and it all started with me trying to be a little funny with "room in the N".

So I made a Chrismon.  On the silly side, its a picture of the question, "Is there room in the inn?"  That question, however, begets a few more.  Is there room in my heart and in your heart for Jesus?  How about in our homes?  Is there room for Jesus in every circumstance, in our highs and lows, in our delights and despairs?  Well the answer is, "Of course there is!"

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for thee.

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