I have a lot of necklaces. Some are just costume jewelry and a few are valuable. A lot of them have sentimental value and a few are actually symbols. Three of them stand out.
I have an amethyst cross that belonged to my great aunt. A cross, of course, symbolizes Jesus’ death and the salvation He offered me. It’s not a crucifix, but rather an empty cross so it also symbolizes His resurrection. But as a family heirloom, it reminds me that I am descended from generations of believers who served God faithfully. I have a rich heritage and a responsibility to also serve Him. "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return." (Luke 12:45)
I also have a silver cross that was given to me by a Muslim friend. Before we met, she had heard that I was born again and she was prepared to not like me. When she found that I was not the hateful bigot she expected, we became friends and often talked about matters of faith. She gave me a Christian cross when I moved away. In addition to our friendship, the cross reminds me that I can (and should) share Christ’s love with people from other religions.
But my favorite necklace isn’t a cross. It’s the Chinese character for resurrected. That was my grandfather’s Chinese name when he was a missionary in China. There’s a story behind how he got it, but it’s also a mighty symbol of the work he did for the Lord. For twenty five years he and my grandmother shared the Good News with the Chinese people. And years later my family saw evidence that God is still continuing that work.
God told Moses to have His people wear tassels to remind them to obey all God’s laws and be holy. My necklaces do the same thing. They remind me that Jesus died for me and made me holy. They remind me that the Holy Spirit is transforming me into the image of Jesus.
My necklaces are memorials that He is the Lord my God who brought me out of slavery.