The Legend of the Candy Cane
The development of the candy cane took a few hundred years. Before the invention of the modern pacifier, parents used to give their babies unflavored white sugar sticks to suck on. During the 1670's a German choirmaster had the sugar sticks bent into a shepherd's staff and passed out to children attending the Christmas services. This holiday custom spread throughout Europe and fancy canes, decorated with roses, were used as Christmas decorations in many homes. About 1900 the white candy cane received its traditional red stripes and peppermint flavoring. At the same time the legend of the candy cane came into being. According to this legend, a candy maker in Indiana designed the candy cane to tell the true story of Christmas - a story about a virgin giving birth to a shepherd who would give up His life for the sheep.
The most obvious symbolism used in the candy cane is its shape. Turned one way, it looks like a "J" for Jesus. The newborn Lamb of God was named Jesus, meaning Savior, because He was destined to "save His people from their sins." Turned the other way, candy canes remind us of the shepherd's staff. The first people to hear of Christ's birth were shepherds guarding their flocks at night. Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd and the Bible frequently compares the actions of the Messiah to those of a shepherd searching for his lost sheep, feeding them, gently leading them, and carrying them.
The sweetness of the candy reminds us that we are fed on the sweet milk of the Gospel of our salvation and peace.
The hardness of the candy reminds us that Jesus is our rock of refuge. In rocky lands like Israel, people often sought shelter from their enemies in the caves or rocky crags of cliffs. Rocks also remind us of the solidness of the promises of Christ who is a precious cornerstone and sure foundation to those who follow Him.
The whiteness of the candy brings to mind the Virgin Birth and the sinless life of Christ. We also are made as pure as the snow through the cleansing action of His blood.
The traditional candy cane has 3 small red stripes to remind us of the soldiers' stripes by which we are healed and a larger stripe which represents the blood shed by Christ on Calvary's tree. Some people say that the 3 small stripes honor the Holy Trinity while the larger stripe reminds us of the one true God. Others claim that the small stripes represent our mini-passions or sufferings and the great stripe symbolizes Christ's Passion. A green stripe is sometimes placed on candy canes to remind us that Jesus is God's gift to us. (Green is the color of giving.)
We Hope you enjoyed this story and will join us for more Christmas Joy at our weekly and special services!
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.
At Ivey Memorial, we try to live out this teaching in our individual lives and our life together. We gather for worship to express our thanks, to find comfort and direction and to yield ourselves to being a part of God's mission on earth. Children, youth and adults, each in their special ways, gain new understanding in our Sunday School and women's, men's and youth groups as well as numerous special small group opportunities we offer. All the while friendships are being forged, and life takes on new meaning. We go out into the world truly empowered.
We invite you to join us in worship at 8:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings or for any of the activities described on our site.
November 23rd, We helped distribute 42,500 pounds of potatos!
We envision a church unified in Christ that actively seeks to courageously share God's amazing love. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will foster spiritual growth and positive relationships while ministering to the diverse needs of our community and world.
We seek to humbly serve Christ in Colonial Heights and Chesterfield, Virginia.
Have you ever noticed that occasionally the colors on the pulpit, lectern, and alter change? It's not because we like some colors better than others. Each color is tied to a specific season of the Christian year.
Green is the color that symbolizes growth in the spirit and is used during the season of Kingdomtide.