Saturday, December 24, 2011

Take A Moment...

...To remember the true reason for the season.

Jesus the Christ is the reason for season of Christmas. Even the most modest of studies will identify this truth.

Interesting facts about the Christmas Candy Cane:
Upside down it is a "J" for Jesus.
Right-side up it resembles the staff of a shepherd.
The white stripes represent the purity, and sinless life of Christ.
The red stripes represent the blood that Christ shed to cleanse us of our sins.
What about the Christmas Tree?
The Christmas tree has become a symbol of the spirit of Christmas in many countries and many, if not all, our homes.

The first mention in history of fir trees used in Christmas celebrations was in 12th century Germany. A fir tree was used in mystery plays as the so-called "paradise" tree. These dramas were held outside during the Advent and Christmas seasons and the fir tree symbolized the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The evergreen fir tree is a sign of hope throughout the winter season--hope in the promise that the rest of nature too will awaken to new life in the coming spring. The message of this symbolism was simple: through Jesus Christ we too have hope for everlasting life. Indeed, Jesus Christ has become our tree of life--the paradise tree. As such the evergreen Christmas tree reminds us that even though our earthly season must come to an end, yet we will live through the grace of our Lord  and Savior Jesus.

The use of the indoor Christmas tree began early in the 17th century, in Strasbourg, (which at that time belonged to Germany, but is now France) spreading from there throughout Germany and then into northern Europe. In 1841, Albert the German-born husband of Queen Victoria, first introduced the Christmas tree custom to Great Britain. He had the first decorated Christmas tree set up in Windsor Castle in 1841. The first Christmas trees in the New World were introduced by Hessian soldiers in 1776. Later German immigrants brought the tradition into wider use in the US. The custom of decorating a community tree began in the early 1900's and is a popular custom in the US today.

What is the symbolism of the Christmas tree today? Well first of all, the fir tree is an evergreen--it does not die or fade away or lose its needles in the winter. In this sense it has soon come to represent the immortality of the resurrected Christ.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanakkuh

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