What exactly is the color of silver? Except for some nuance of shading, silver shares its color with chrome and stainless steel. It is easily mimicked by tinsel. (Does anyone use tinsel on their Christmas trees anymore?) It is the color of some coins whether silver, nickel or some amalgam of metals combined to achieve the right silvery look. Silver’s color is also seen in the flashes of a mountain stream on a sunny day and glimmers in an icicle. You could say that the color of silver is that of pure light.
The Gospel of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1–5,14, NASB95) Silver is the color of Christ’s coming to earth, of the incarnation, the light of heaven illuminating the darkness.
In a way, Christ’s coming to earth was foretold in the language of symbolism. The plans that God gave Moses for the wilderness tabernacle were specific. That descriptive blueprint can be read in Exodus 25-28. The tabernacle containing the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was essentially a large tent made of fabric walls with tent poles of gold covered wooden boards. Those golden boards sat in bases made of silver. You could say that the tabernacle was a model of God’s throne, of heaven itself. In God’s design for the tabernacle, silver was the meeting point between earth’s sin and heaven’s holiness. A foreshadowing fulfilled in Jesus.
That meeting of heaven and earth in Jesus was not just a long-ago event in Bethlehem. Christmas loses its meaning and purpose if it is only celebrated like a historical marker or someone’s birthday. The real gift of Christmas is ongoing. Whenever someone turns to Jesus, receives His gift of forgiveness and new birth, a kind of incarnation takes place in their hearts. For those who follow Christ, Christmas celebrates the mystery of God becoming flesh in the stable of Bethlehem but also the beauty of their new life in Him.
I have two hopes for this Color of Christmas. That as you see silver in Christmas decorations you will be reminded of the light of Jesus and His incarnation. And that those having a blue Christmas will see a glimmer of hope, a silvery star bursting through the darkest night, as the holiness of heaven touches the grittiness of life through Jesus. The Word became flesh, dwelt among us, and we’ll behold His glory if we’ll open our hearts to see His pure silvery light.