Great Morning Beloved!
The Second Sunday of Advent
“Peace The Christmas Tree”
Today we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Advent with the theme of Peace. Remember advent is a time of preparation. We are preparing once again, for our reminder of the Christ within…maybe for some of us, a birth, others a re-birth.
Peace has been a prominent topic in our lives. I know I pray for inner peace as well as world peace. It’s a reminder to do our part in manifesting the world and life we wish to have.
And though we may not see either inner or world peace consistently, we can bask in the times in our lives when we do have peace, if only inner peace, which is our part,… our gift to world peace.
And so, we light the two candles on our Advent wreath, one for Hope and the 2nd for peace. We use our wisdom like the wise men to bring us closer to expressing peace in our lives.
John 14:27 27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We light two candles to symbolize our journey toward Christmas. Another thing we do to prepare for Christmas is decorate Christmas trees!
Evergreen trees have been decorated in the winter time for millennia. Because these trees stay green all year, they remind us that God is always alive within us.
The evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life during winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside their houses in wintertime.
Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor. He disliked the tribute to the so-called Pagans…did you know that the word pagan “means” of or relating to the countryside’, ‘country dweller’, ‘villager’.” Not the distastefull meaning many use it for.
The word pagan was used in the fourth century by early Christians for those who practiced polytheism, either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population or because they were not “soldiers of Christ.”
By the early Middle Ages, a legend had grown that when Jesus was born in the dead of winter, every tree throughout the world miraculously shook off its ice and snow and produced new shoots of green.
Of course, we know, assuming that there was a Jesus, he would have been born in the springtime.
At the same time, Christian missionaries preaching to Germanic and Slavic peoples were taking a more lenient approach to cultural practices—such as evergreen trees. These missionaries believed that they could win the so-called pagans over to Christianity by allowing for these natural symbols that had previously been used for the worship of pagan gods.
Of course, this did not mean that the worship of pagan gods themselves was tolerated. According to one legend, the eighth-century missionary Boniface, after cutting down an oak tree sacred to the pagan god Thor (and used for human sacrifice), pointed to a nearby fir tree instead as a symbol of the Christ. He is credited with the Christmas Tree and relating it to the birth of Jesus.
“This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace… It is the sign of an endless life, for its leaves are ever green. See how it points upward to heaven. Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild wood, but in your own homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness.”
Other legends tell us that the Christmas tree comes to us from Germany. Martin Luther is credited with being inspired by the starry heavens one night and expressing his feelings to his family by bringing a fir tree into his home and attaching lighted candles to its branches. Fir meant fire, and fire is an ancient symbol for spirit & life. Also noting that the tree pointed toward the heavens.
We decorate the tree with lights to remind us to shine our own lights. Stars remind us of the one that led the wise men, angels on the tree represent our highest thoughts.
Red at Christmas reminds us of the fire of the Spirit. The color green signified the life force through the year & nature. Eventually decorative balls represented the planets.
Santa Claus is the spirit of giving. Doves are a symbol of peace, and toys are for joy.
The variety in our tree and of the other trees reminds us of the many beautiful ways that God expresses in the world.
The first Christmas tree that was made in the USA was in 1830 in Pennsylvania by a German settler. They had just continued the traditions when they immigrated. The concept was readily accepted by the people of USA and it became more and more popular
But it wasn’t until the late 19th century that decorated evergreens became the ultimate Christmas symbol we all know and love today. In 1846, the second longest-reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, was sketched with her children and husband, Prince Albert, alongside a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle. Because Queen Victoria was so popular, the decision instantly became an iconic one and went mainstream worldwide.
In the 1850s the first signs of Christmas tree sales and lots began to appear around American towns.
In the mid-1850s President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) established the first Christmas tree at the White House.
And it was President Calvin Coolidge (1885-1933) who started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
What does the beauty of the Christmas Tree say to you?
The Metaphysical meaning of ‘Trees’ represent nerves, and nerves are expressions of thoughts of unity; they connect our thought centers
Evergreen trees represent strength, friendship, especially life-long friendship, hope, promise & renewal, longevity, resilience, and remembrance.
WOW! Who knew that evergreen trees meant so much?
Maybe that is why the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree was a symbol of such a transformation for Charlie & his gang.
That tree started out unable to hold one decoration. Yet, when the gang discerned that they had been too hard on Charlie, their love and friendship transformed the tree into a beautiful, strong and sturdy tree, able to carry the weight of the ornaments that were placed on with love & friendship.
Maybe we should be more like a tree, grounded….
well balanced and sensible.
Connected to our roots…. even if your family relationship isn’t a Hallmark moment, look into who your family really is…you might understand more than you ever thought possible.
And remember that you ARE connected, our roots intertwine with love & friendship.
Maybe not be so hesitant to turn over a new leaf…do you wish to change something? maybe break a habit…maybe talk to the people you call family. Maybe mend some misunderstandings.
Learn to bend, so you do not break…. Not reacting but responding to the ‘growth opportunities’ that are presented to us.
Enjoy your uniqueness and natural beauty…. yes, all of you. There is only one YOU….be YOU. Be who you are and if there are changes to be made, make them your changes.
And always keep growing…. physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“I am a child of God, filled and surrounded by the perfect peace of God.”