The Poinsettia

December 16, 2015
by Iris Ford

Luke 2:10-11 – Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (NKJV)

Christmas is truly a time of great joy for Christians. In Bermuda, where I grew up, the poinsettia reflects the joy of Christmas. It grows into a tall tree covered with magnificent, red flowers, heralding the coming of Christmas. The poinsettia is native to Mexico, where it was called Cuetlaxochitl by the ancient Aztec peoples. Its name meant "flower that withers; mortal flower that perishes like all that is pure." In the seventeenth century, Franciscan missionaries settled in an area of southern Mexico where, for the first time, the flaming, wild flower became a part of a Christmas ceremony. When we read of its origin, it is no wonder that it became the "Christmas flower", and it is known as such to this day.

When I came to Canada, I was struck by the huge display of poinsettias outside the stores at Christmas. But look again — they are flowers in pots! Ugh! I miss the flowering poinsettia trees in the back garden in Bermuda. There is nothing more beautiful than the poinsettia trees blowing in the wind. But the poinsettia reflects more than beauty. To some, its red flowers signify the blood of Christ, and its white flowers speak to us of the purity of the Baby born in a manger, Who brings light to a dark and dismal world.

Let's buy a poinsettia and rejoice — it is Christmas! When we think of the beautiful poinsettia trees moving gently to and fro in the wind, singing, as it were, the praises of God, let us also gladly sing along with carols and hymns that tell of what a wonderful gift to us is Jesus the Christ, Who saves us from the effects of evil. In Him, not only at Christmas, but also each day throughout the year, we are purified with the truth which we have found in Jesus.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son Jesus to save the world from sin and evil. Each Christmas, You remind us of the beauty of Your grace as the poinsettia waves in the wind. Thank You, Lord, for coming into the world to save sinners like us. We rejoice in knowing Jesus, and we seek to spread His gospel through the sharing of this beautiful flower, the poinsettia, and singing His praises. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Iris Ford
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing Iris. Have a very Merry Christmas.


    Thanks for sharing! Only last week I discovered it can grow as a tree, too.


    Thank you Iris for all your wonderful messages throughout the year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I would love to see the poinsettia trees. They must be beautiful.


    Thank you for a lovely message Iris.
    I, too, enjoy the brilliant colour of poinsettia and I will be buying one for our home too.
    Merry Christmas.


    Hi Iris,
    What a wonderful story, I did not know this about the poinsettias. We used to go to Mexico in the wintertime and we saw the bushes you mentioned, at one hotel they had hedges as a matter of fact.
    Thank you.


    Dear Iris,
    Thank you for the beautiful words coupled with the red and white poinsettia blooms.
    Red- for Jesus’ blood shed for our redemption.
    White – for our resultant purity.
    I pray that you will have a blessed Christmas season. Forever is guaranteed for us believers.


    Thank you for sharing this devotional to remind us of the significance of the lovely poinsettia that reminds us of the reason for the season. I saw a poinsettia tree in California, but it wasn’t in flower, nor was it very tall, more like a bush. Would have loved to see a tall poinsettia in full flower. What a blessing that would be!
    Have a joyous Christmas and very good New Year. Blessings.


    I thank you for this devotional. I had never heard the Poinsettia described as representing the Blood Of Christ or the White as Purity. I have always thought it a beautiful plant but now will look at it entirely differently. It was also interesting t know that they grow as trees in Bermuda. I knew a lady that had a greenhouse and grew some Poinsettia trees that she transplanted to her garden in the summer. They were beautiful. Thank You.


    Good morning Iris.
    What a wonderful Devotional you have written!
    I had no conception that the poinsettia was a tree! I am attempting to visualize what you have taught me about the plant. I wonder if it would grow in British Columbia. I can also visualize the metaphor you are using, and it is most appropriate!
    I prat that the Lord will Bless you for writing today!


    Dear Iris:
    As I read your devotional I was reminded of the poinsettia bushes/trees in India. I remember my first Christmas in India when we had a tea party for our language teachers. The outdoor decorations were the beautiful red poinsettias and red bougainvillea. No other decorations were needed. I have a poinsettia plant here in my living room, and last Sunday at church the front was lined with dozens of poinsettias. I really do enjoy the beautiful flowers. I wonder how they got to India from Mexico.
    God bless you for continuing to write devotionals.
    Merry Christmas. Rejoice, Christ is born.


    Dear Iris,
    Right on! Your insights from Bermuda give new meaning to our Christmas tradition about poinsettias. It reminds me to focus on the joy of Christmas. Thanks for this “upbeat” meditation.


    Dear Iris,
    I really enjoy your devotional “The Poinsettia”.
    Thank you.

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