"The solution is to be found through the sanctification of the parents. Become saints and you will have no problems with your children." Father Porphyrios , Wounded By Love

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Christmas Coloring & Symbolism

It seems the most common thing families are looking for are Orthodox coloring icons! So here are the ones I have for the Nativity Christmas season. (Potamitis Publishing has others for sale.)

  • Also a few talking points for the icons
  • St John Chrysostom reminds us of the odd behavior of such a star that led the Magi from the east. It appeared in daylight! It acted like no other by coming down from the heavens to practically eye level. It disappeared while in the presence of Herod, and reappeared afterward.

  • Also, the magi themselves were well trained in the behavior of stars - this was their daily work! Traveling far, their ethnicity symbolizes that the Gospel will reach the Gentiles and people of the East. Their gifts are full of meaning - gold for the King of all ages, frankincense for God of all, and myrrh for His three days in the tomb as fully man.

  • Sometimes we ask why is Joseph turned away? The theological answer is often because he shows us he is not the father of Christ, and others say he is deep in thought, contemplating the virgin birth. In various icons, a grim figure is depicted tempting Joseph with harmful doubts, or another younger man walks with them as they travel to Egypt. Just remember to identify Joseph correctly. He was the much older widow with children from his previous wife. His care for Panagia was closer related to that of  fatherly protection than ever as a husband, seeing as a marriage was never consummated between them.

  • Important also for our children to understand -Christ was born more likely in a cave than a barn (I cringe at such incorrect images) The cave and the Mother of God are the offerings from the world, as the hymns proclaim. Light has been born into the darkness!   

  • Everyone offers the newborn Christ a gift! Mankind offers Panagia, or Mary, to be used for God's purpose and His work of salvation. Notice her posture. In some icons she is kneeling with arms crossed to worship her very own son as her God. Yet she is one of us, perfectly human and representative of us all created to offer ourselves fully to God as she did. The wilderness offers the cave as a dwelling place for the Savior. The heavens offer the star. The angels offer their voices of praises and song. Even the animals gather around Christ to offer their own warmth of breath, as heat in the coldness of the cave!
  • The swaddled clothes around Christ signify His burial cloths as well, if you remember, when St Joseph of Arimathea and St Nicodemus wrapped the body of Christ is a white linen cloth for the tomb.

  • The shepherds, lastly, are all of us. The simple, the unlearned, the lost sheep - called from our daily tasks to come and worship the Lord. After such an encounter, one's life can never quite be the same!


Catherine Sullivan christianeducator@gmail.com said...

This is a great blog for those involved in Orthodox Religious Education- teachers, parents or homeschoolers. There is more out there too- look at www.themustardseed.weebly.com
There is a new series of Orthodox craft CDs available there in addition to many other things related to Christian Ed. The content changes monthly (or more often).

Icey Kiev said...

The graphics above will educate our youngsters about christian education which is good.

Kevin said...

You said that more coloring pages can be bought from Potamitis publishing. Did they grant you permission to share these online?

I'm trying to find the creator of these images because I wanted to seek permission to use one of the nativity scenes in a project--I'm designing album artwork for a CD my church choir is making.

Orthodox Education said...

The images posted are free online. They are not from Potamitis Publishing. If you have more questions, please email me at eleniemarie@gmail.com.

Kevin said...

Hello Catherine! Thank you for your response. I sent you an email, but I think it might have become lost in cyberspace.

If you have any clues as to who might have created this, I'd love to know. We want to ask the author permission to use the image.

If you can help, you could respond here or write me at kevinwlester@hotmail.com. Thanks again.

Kevin said...
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Kevin said...
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Kevin said...
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Kevin said...

Ugh..sorry about the reposts.

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