From your pastor…
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid: for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors.” (Luke 2: 10-14)
And so Christmas began… The birth of Jesus Christ which we celebrate each Christmas season. Are you ready to celebrate? Do you have a favorite Christmas carol you are already singing? Do you have a Nativity set displayed in the living room? Do you have a Christmas tree yet? I am like a kid in a candy shop each Advent season because I can’t wait to decorate and to see others’ decorations and hear the Christmas songs everywhere!!
Have you ever wondered where some of our Christmas customs come from? According to Wikipedia, the custom of decorating a tree for celebrating Christ’s birthday was “developed in medieval Livonia (present-day Estonia and Latvia) and early modern Germany, where Protestant Germans brought decorated trees into their homes. It acquired popularity beyond the Lutheran areas of Germany and the Baltic countries during the second half of the 19th century, at first among the upper classes. The tree was traditionally decorated with ‘roses made of colored paper, apples, wafers, tinsel, and sweetmeats.’ In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification.”
Maybe you already knew that, but I did not. Sometimes Google can be fun! I just know that I love my Christmas tree because it tells the story of Jesus’ birth and it is filled with memories of my life and Jeff’s life together as a married couple of 40 years. Our tree is unique, because it has many hand-made ornaments that were given out of love many, many years ago. It is VERY eclectic. But, I am sure, just like your tree, we have angels, stars, sheep, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, the Wise Men traveling on camels, the peace symbol for the 60’s, and the peace dove displayed in very diverse ways. Of course, we also have a fleur-de-lis which did represent the Trinity at one time in church history, but now it represents to us the city of New Orleans and the Saints.
No, we don’t worship our Christmas trees, but we do very much enjoy them. One of our most precious ornaments is tattered and worn, but we have taped it together so that it can always hang on our tree. It was a Hallmark ball given to us by my brother and his wife in 1978 that says: Our First Christmas Together. It has two love birds sitting in a holly tree looking at one another. It reminds us of when we were a young married couple, just starting our life together.
The Christmas story describes Mary as treasuring all that happened in her heart. As we light our trees this Christmas, let us pause and give thanks to God for the good news for all of the people that Jesus, the Messiah, our Blessed Savior, has been born!!
Peace to you, Rev. Becky