These two letters are the first two letters of the Greek word “Christos,” meaning Christ.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
A Chrismon, or Christogram, is a monogram or symbol of Jesus Christ. The Chrismon for today is Chi-Rho, one of the oldest. The Greek Chi (X) and Rho (P) are the first two letters in Christ. By some historical accounts in A.D. 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine was divinely inspired to put the symbol on all of his soldiers’ shields and on that very day, they won a great battle. By 350, it was widely used in the Christian world and is often seen in Episcopal churches today as a symbol that our focus is to God through Jesus Christ.
During this season of Advent, the passage from John reminds us that eternal life is found by knowing God and His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus prays to God for those He sends out into the world that others might be brought to complete unity with Him and with each other.
Today, this is our hope and our promise. As we stumble through troubling times of division and despair, let us join together in joy as we await the birth of the son of God, that we also might go out into the world knowing Christ and making Him known.
Helen Pickle Normand