Do you know the story called, “The Sixth Word”? In case you don’t, maybe its because it has the weirdest title and I can’t find anything on who actually wrote the story or how it got it’s name. Then again, I didn’t look to hard.
Anyway, I took the liberty of re-writing it to fit the flow of my story telling and corrected some seriously lame flaws. Feel free to use my version. Feel free to compare it to what you might find on the Internet.
All I know, is that we use this story every year with a little bag that has miniature Christmas things. As we tell the story, we pull out the items, just as the story suggests. My kids ADORE this story and learn every year the symbolism of some of the things we see at Christmas.
Sure they know WHY we have Christmas but they’re just now learning what the bow represents, why we have Christmas lights on the tree, and what the first color of Christmas really is, and why.
Just a week before Christmas, I had a unique visitor. I had just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the room. As I entered the room, I saw to my surprise, Santa Claus himself. He placed his finger to his lips, so I would not cry out.
Whispering I started to ask, “What are you doing?” But the words choked up in my throat when I saw the tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone–gone was the eager, energetic soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple plea, saying, “Teach the children.” I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.
As I stood there bewildered, Santa said again, “Teach the children. Teach them the old meaning of Christmas–the meanings that Christmas nowadays has forgotten.” Santa reached into the toy bag and pulled out a brilliant shiny star.
“Teach the children the star was the heavenly sign of promise, long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and His Prophets foretold that a star would be a sign of the Savior’s birth. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, a new star appeared in the sky, and was a sign to the entire world. God fulfilled His promise.
Santa gently laid the star upon the fireplace mantle and drew forth from the bag a shiny red Christmas tree ornament. Santa continued, “Teach the children red is the first color of Christmas. It was first used by the faithful people to remind them of Christ’s blood, which was shed for all mankind. Christ gave His life that every man might have God’s gift of Eternal Life. Red is the greatest color of all. It is the symbol of the gift of God.”
Santa then withdrew a small Christmas tree from the depths of the toy bag. He placed it on the mantle and gently hung the red ornament on it. The deep green of the tree was a perfect background for the ornament.
“Here is the second color of Christmas” Santa spoke. “The color of the lovely tree remains all year around,” he said. “Green depicts the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful, abundant color of nature.
All the needles point heavenward–reminding men that his thoughts should be of returning to live with God again. The great tree has been man’s best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed him, and made beauty for him.
Suddenly, I heard a soft tinkling sound. “Teach the children that lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell. The sound of the bell reminds man to return to the fold–it means guidance and safety. It further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.” As the soft sound of the bell faded into the night, Santa drew forth a candle. He placed it on the mantle, and the soft glow from its tiny flame cast a glow about the darkened room. Odd shapes in shadows slowly danced and waved upon the walls. “Teach the children,” whispered Santa, “that the candle shows man’s thanks for the star of long ago. Its small light is the mirror of starlight. At first, candles were placed on the trees—they were like many glowing stars shining against the dark green. The colored lights have now taken over in remembrance.
He then brought forth a large bow and said, “The bow is placed on a present to remind us of the spirit of brotherhood. We should remember that the bow is tied as men should be tied, all of us together, with the bonds of good will toward each other. Good will forever is the message of the bow.” Santa slung his bag over his shoulder and pulled a candy cane from his pocket. He handed it to me and said, “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s staff. The crook on the staff helps bring back the strayed sheep to the flock.
The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show at Christmas time. It is the symbol that we are our brother’s keepers.” As Santa looked about the room, I noticed his smile had returned, and his cheeks were rosy again. His eyes were twinkling.
He reached into his bag one last time and brought forth a large wreath that he placed on my door. He looked at me and whispered, “Please teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love; it never ceases, stops or ends. It is one continuous round of affection. Love should always be present at Christmas time.” He turned to leave, and then looked back at me. “Will you teach the children?” he asked. And can you guess what I said to Santa?