I’m a little excited because I have something different for you today: A guest post and a video by Mr. Leonard Gluck, a retired teacher and member of our church small group.
Last week, Mr. Gluck demonstrated for us how he combines the Japanese art of origami with some truths from Scripture to make a Christmas ornament with a message behind it. It’s a handy little tool for sharing the Gospel, and he has given me permission to publish his work here!
Beneath the video is the full text of the lesson he often shares as he folds the ornament. Typically, if he is teaching a class, he will send each kid home with a packet containing the two pre-folded halves of the snowflake, the dark dot for the center, and red yarn for a hanger along with instructions for assembling them.
And so, without further ado:
Have You Entered Into the Treasures of the Snow?
By Leonard Gluck
How many of you have a favorite Christmas ornament? Think of how it looks and what it represents. I have several ornaments that mean a lot to me. Some of them are special because of who gave them to me. Others are favorites becuase of what they represent or how unique they are in design. Some are neat because of the materials used in the construction of the ornament.
Today, I am going to make an origami Christmas ornament. It is actually modeled after an ornament the Lord Jesus designed when He created the world and everything in it. This model is one I designed after the better design of Jesus. It not only is fun because it is made out of ordinary white paper, but also because of what it represents. It’s pattern is neat, also.
Watch as I fold this project. I’m going to read several Scripture passages, which talk about this ornament as I work. Listen carefully so that you can share the message of God’s Word with others this Christmas time.
Way back in the Old Testament, a man named Job was talking with God, when God asked him a question. It is a very interesting question. Before I read you the question God asked him, we need to know a little bit about the circumstances Job was in when God talked with him. Job, as you probably know, had more problems than anyone else in the Bible. He lost all his wealth, his children, and his health all in the matter of a few days. He actually was under the direct attack of Satan when this happened. On top of these problems, Job’s friends tried to tell him that all his problems were because he was not right with God. What a terrible place to be in!
Well, after all this hard stuff happened, God came to Job and wanted him to know He was still in charge, that He loved Job, and knew his problems and could fix them. He then asked Job this question: “Job… Have you ever entered into the treasures (storehouses) of the snow..?” (Job 38:22). That seems like a funny question to ask him at that time, doesn’t it? But God knew what He was talking about. The storehouse of the snow is composed of what? Yes, snowflakes. I’m making a snowflake ornament.
What are some of the things we can learn about God from the snowflakes He created? First, we notice that almost every single snowflake is different yet it follows a similar pattern. God takes great care in the forming of every snowflake. Each one shows His power and majesty. It also shows us that God cares about little details and little things as well as the big things.
We can also look at what the Bible says about snow. Did you know It uses snow as a picture of God’s cleansing from sin? Listen to this neat verse from Isaiah 1:18: “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'”
Wow, just think of the color red! It stands out like a sore thumb and screams, “Look at me!” Our sins do the same thing. They show us and everybody else that we are not good enough to meet God’s standard of perfection, holiness, and purity. We can’t make it on our own. We need our sin to be removed in order for us to be able to come into the presence of a holy God. Jesus’ blood, RED, was shed to cover our sins, to pay the price, to remove our sins. We are pure (WHITE) because of His sacrifice.
If you look carefully at a snowflake, under a microscope, you would find a piece of dirt or dust in the center of every snowflake. It is called a “condensation nuclei.” While the dust or smoke particle is floating around in the air, the water vapor up there collects on it and than the cold air freezes around the dust particle and completely hides it. The result is a beautiful snowflake design. The snowflake falls and the dirt particle is removed from the air. The snow falls on the ground and covers everything to make it look so beautiful and pure.
Remember King David in the Old Testament? He also wrote about snow. He said this to God in one of his prayers, “…Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow…” (Psalm 51:7b).
He wasn’t asking God to throw him into the bathtub. He was confessing his sin and he know that only God could cleanse his heart. We also can have our hearts clean when we do the same thing. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you are feeling dirty because of the wrong things you have done, ask God to forgive you. Tell Him what you did wrong and agree with Him that it is wrong. Turn from it and He will forgive you and cleanse you. Wow, that’s neat. It’s just like waking up in the morning and finding the ground covered with pure, white snow. We are all clean and fresh.
Snow is neat in many other ways. As you know, it’s fun to play in, ski on, ride sleds over, and it provides us with a way to store the water until we need it in the spring and summer. We should thank God every time we see the snow for His grace and mercy and the blessings we have because of His creation.
The next time you see a snow scene, and I’m sure you will see many over the Christmas holidays, think about your life and how God has cleaned you up and made you pure so that you can fellowship with Him and go to Heaven in the future. If you take the time to think about it and study about the snow, I bet you can find out many other amazing things about these little jewels of ice.