I am wondering today if we can think about Advent in a different way. If we could really slow down and not get caught up in all the busyness that the season has turned into. Sometimes I don't think the church is any different that the world outside. I remember growing up in Osecola and the church there had one tree and it was a live tree that had been chopped down by some crazy men in the church. We all got together and decorated the church and the tree and had a good time doing it. It wasn't too fancy, greenery was put around and the tree always turned out to be a Chrismon Tree. For those of you that might not know what I'm talking about I have copied some info here about it.
The practice of having a “Chrismon Tree” began with a Lutheran pastor, Mr. George Pass, in 1940. He began making decorations for his own Christmas tree that were symbols about Jesus Christ, and the meaning of Christmas, instead of the usual pretty but meaningless shiny balls, Santa Clauses and reindeer. The practice soon caught on with other Christians and many churches, and today the Chrismon Tree is a common sight all over the United States. “Chrismon” is a combination of two words, “Christ,” and “monogram.” Monogram, of course, means initials, or symbols for a particular person. The Chrismon tree bears symbols or monograms about Jesus our Savior.
How many trees do you have in your church? I counted seven in ours and I'm thinking that's a little over kill. None of them are real trees and only one of them is a Chrismon tree, which is a little sad for me. I feel like commercialism has invaded the church is a huge, meaningless shiny ball kind of a way, and it really makes me want to do Christmas different.
Advent is the beginning of the churches year, it's the fresh start! We are waiting with great anticipation for the coming of the baby that will save us from ourselves. It's about preparing our hearts as well as our homes, not about the shiny balls or the hordes of presents under the tree. Is Christmas like that in your home? Is there someone who counts the presents to make sure everything is fair? Is it a time to go crazy and be like the rest of the world and buy everything even if it has no meaning? Or do you give to those who want a blanket, or a family to love them? What part of Advent are you wrapped up in? What are you waiting for to save you from yourself? What is your perfect gift going to be?