December 21, 2017

An Exact Imprint

December 21, 2017


Psalm 89:1-4

Hebrews 1:1-4

This weekend’s reading: Luke 2:1-20

When I was in college, I had a professor whose office displayed beautiful artwork framed in simple wooden frames. When I had occasion to visit her I often admired the tall, gold-leaf designs which I later found out were rubbings from brass monuments on gravestones.

The intriguing thing to me about these rubbings was how they captured the exact likeness of the carved design on paper. They turned a three-dimensional object into a piece of art which could be hung on a wall. Even though I had never been to the church in Great Britain where these gravestones were, I knew what they looked like — down to the finest line and minute impression.

In our reading from Hebrews, the writer tells us that Jesus is the “exact imprint” of God’s very being. Just like a rubbing shows the details of the original brass monument, so Jesus shows us the details of God’s character and allows us to know what our invisible God is like. We see God’s love, mercy, compassion, grace and power exhibited in Jesus’ life. As Hebrews 1:3 says, he is the reflection of God’s glory.


  • If Jesus is the “exact imprint” of God, what do we learn about God from observing Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as recounted in the Gospels?
  • How does knowing that Jesus reflects God’s glory inform the way you see God?


  • Ask your parents or a trusted adult to help you do a rubbing.
    Take a leaf or a coin and place a sheet of paper over it and then carefully rub over it with a crayon. Can you see the imprint of the leaf or coin on the paper?
  • The Bible tells us that Jesus is like the imprint of God. What can we know about God by seeing how Jesus treated people?

Glorious God, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to show us exactly what you are like. At this season of the year when we celebrate the Incarnation, help us to remember that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection tells us everything we need to know about you. Amen