Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sophia Necklace - Symbolism represented in this piece of jewelry

Our Bible Study group was studying the Proverbs, and during the study, I began to envision this necklace as a way to remember all the things we were learning...I made one to be given away at a drawing at the end of the study...and I knew others would love it too!!!! You can find this necklace at my Etsy shop "finderskeepersthings" and look in the section titled "12 Tribes".

Symbols in the Sophia Necklace:

1. The pearl – represents the situations that God allows to come into our lives that, when faced, help to form wisdom in our hearts.

2. The 9 topaz gems – The topaz has been associated with the attribute of wisdom since ancient times when it was linked to the tribe of Simeon in Jewish history. Simeon’s name mans ‘hearing’. The Scriptures exhort God’s people to hear and to heed the call of wisdom, especially in the Proverbs. There are 9 stones – 1 for each facet of wisdom mentioned in the first 3 chapters of Proverbs. These characteristics will “adorn our neck” or are “bound around our neck as a necklace” as we follow wisdom’s ways (Proverbs 1:9; 3:3; 3:22; 6:21):

1. Listening to instruction (Proverbs 1:8)
2. Receiving teaching (Proverbs 1:9)
3. Directing your heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2)
4. Discovering the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:5)
5. Keeping the commands in your heart (Proverbs 3:1)
6. Remaining loyal (Proverbs 3:3)
7. Remaining faithful (Proverbs 3:3)
8. Maintaining competence (Proverbs 3:21)
9. Maintaining discretion (Proverbs 3:21)

3. The placement of the necklace itself: Why do the Scriptures exhort us to bind the attributes of wisdom around our neck? The following is the answer I was led to:
The neck and shoulders symbolize authority or government, and ultimately the condition of one’s heart. For example, people who showed rebellion or ungodly pride were described as “stiff-necked” as in Deuteronomy 10:16 or Nehemiah 9:29. Their authority, the ruler they submitted to, was themselves. Self was on the throne of their heart. A person who showed righteous humility would bow in worship of God (as in Psalm 95:6 or Psalm 128:2) showing a humble heart in which self is no longer ruler. (Bowing, whether the entire body or just the head, requires a flexible down-turned neck.) Proverbs also declares that ‘with humility comes wisdom’ (Proverbs 11:2). By placing the tenents of wisdom around the neck, one would be declaring that their decisions and actions were ‘governed’ by wisdom!

4. A final truth – the neck and shoulders are between the head and the heart.

In reflecting upon these images together, we can see that the placing of the facets of wisdom around the neck like a necklace is a beautiful representation of wisdom guiding the mind (knowledge) and the heart (intuition and emotion) to function in perfect balance!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Most days, my house looks like the remains of an art explosion! Tonight, I noticed it has finally begun to leak into the kitchen from the dining area (a.k.a. as my sewing studio) and the garage (a.k.a. my stained glass studio). My paint and pen and ink "studio" moves from room to room, and even into the car in order to be close at hand for any extended waits!

I have been playing around with all sorts of arts this past year...and if you look in my Etsy shop, you will find a 12 Tribes section that isn't totally filled yet! But it will be - and I will be adding more posts as my study and research comes to an end..

Friday, August 22, 2008

History of the Moravian Star

The Moravian Star

A star as part of the symbolism of Christmas must be as old as the celebration of the festival itself, since the Star of Bethlehem figures so prominently in the nativity story. There
is nothing unique in the use of the star among Moravians. However, a particular type of star originating in Moravian circles in Germany over a hundred years ago has so caught the fancy of the church that it has come to be associated with the way this denomination celebrates Christmas.

The Moravian Star is also called the Advent Star or the Herrnhut Star. The first is appropriate because the star is hung in the church beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, preceding all other decoration. Because for a long time the star was exclusively manufactured in Herrnhut, Germany, the name of that community was attached to it.

It appears that this many pointed star with internal illumination was first a product of the evening handicraft sessions of the Moravian boys' school in Niesky, Germany, about 1850. Years later, one of the alumni, Pieter Verbeeck, began producing it commercially in his home. His son Harry founded the Herrnhut star factory, which soon developed a thriving business, its product being sent to all parts of the world. Chief outlets were Moravian communities on the Continent, the British Isles, America, and the scattered mission fields.
The Moravian Star is popular both in church and in the home. Its use has spread to hotels, stores, schools, hospitals,, community displays, or wherever it has become customary to have Christmas decorations. Today perhaps more non-Moravians are displaying the beautiful star at Christmas than are Moravians themselves.
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