Traditions run so deep that we hardly think of them and assume it is the way things are supposed to be. Even traditions like having church on Sunday. Why have church on Sundays? The Scriptures don’t say anything about it. But the tradition since the early church was to worship on Sunday because that was when Jesus rose from the dead. Therefore the tradition has carried over for centuries.
Christmas traditions are similar. The Christmas colors were adopted and redeemed by the Christian community as symbols of Jesus’ life, death, and future hope for his followers. Another tradition that has been redeemed are the decorations. Christmas decorations have gone from hand-made beginnings into a billion dollar industry.
The first ornaments that expressed the themes of Christmas come in the dark ages, during the cold and dark winter days, the weather would keep many families inside their homes. It was here that the Scandinavians first “used straw to make stars, crowns, angels, and manger scenes. The Vikings had begun this artisitc exercise as a way of honoring their pagan gods, and as they converted to the Christian faith, they adapted their craft to fit into their very spiritual celebration of the Christmas season.”
Can you picture the joy on the faces of little children as they made these Christmas decorations for the first time? Stringing together the wood, hay, and straw as an expression of their faith in Jesus must have brought so much excitement.
Years ago while working at Publix I asked my manager at the time, are you looking forward to Christmas? He was honest and told me, “no because as you get older all you see are dollar signs to be spent.” It is sad because I think this is true for many of us.
How can you decorate for the season as an expression of worship that brings joy? As you put up your decorations and look at others, remember the savior who brings great joy.
Pastor Michael Covey
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people.” -Luke 2:10
I gleaned the majority of this information from the book Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, by Ace Collins. If you are interested in learning more, it is a great read.
Collins, Ace. Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Zondervan, 2007.
When All Seems to Crumble
Decorations of Christmas
Colors of Christmas
The Holy Spirit Fills You
The Son Denies Himself To Give You Life
Thank the Father
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
"Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
"name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit
Of All Nations
"Go and Make"
Why Were We Created?
Spiritual Discipline of Celebration
Spiritual Discipline of Confession
Spiritual Discipline of Silence and Solitude
Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity
Spiritual Discipline of Fasting
Spiritual Discipline of Meditation
Freedom, part 3.
Freedom, part 2.
Fear, part 4.
Fear, part 3.
Fear, part 2.
Fear, part 1.
God is for you.
Hold on to the truth