There once was a candy maker who wanted to make a candy that would be very special for Christmas. He decided to make a candy cane because he knew he could include a lot of signs and symbols to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
He began with a stick of pure white hard candy. He used white as a symbol that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary who was always so pure and holy. He made it hard and crunchy to symbolize the solid rock on which the church is founded.
He bent over the top of the candy cane to make a hook like a shepherd’s staff. He remembered that Jesus called himself “The Good Shepherd” The candy maker remembered too that the first people who come to worship Jesus at the manger after he was born were shepherds. Then the candy maker looked at his candy cane and thought it looked a little plain. “It needs some color,” he said. Something red,” he thought. “That will give it Christmas look!” So, he began to stain the white candy cane with red stripes. First, he put on three thin red stripes. You see, he remembered that Jesus went through terrible torture before he died and was whipped across his back. The candy maker decided that the red stripes on the candy cane would remind everybody that Jesus shed his blood for us when he died on the cross on Good Friday.
The candy maker was doing well with his candy cane. He had a lot signs of Jesus in there but he wasn’t satisfied. Then he began to pray, “Dear Jesus, help me to make my candy cane show the true meaning of Christmas.” Then suddenly the candy cane slipped from his hands. It fell upside down on the floor. When he looked, he noticed that the candy cane was no longer a candy cane, but it was the letter “J”. It stands for “Jesus.” Jesus is really what Christmas is all about.
Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a Gift from God. The flavor of the candy is peppermint which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is in
the mint family and was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice. Jesus is the Pure Lamb of God come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
So the next time you see a candy cane, remember the Sermon it preaches:
Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, is the Rock of all Ages who suffered and died for our sins.
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