As I worked on my post yesterday morning…I found myself typing slower and slower because I knew when I finished the blog, it would be time to start taking down the decorations….especially (my saddest annual chore) de-trimming the Christmas tree.
Since I was a little later getting the tree up (waiting until Tommy’s law exams were over) I haven’t been in any hurry to take it all down. I love turning on my Christmas tree…the lights cast such a special glow to my “happy room” making it even happier in the evenings and so relaxing.
I think we should go back to the traditional Christian custom of leaving the tree up until January 6-Epiphany… when the wise men arrived at the manger. So many of my neighbors had their tree dragged outside and dumped by the street the day after Christmas…it made me sad and rather depressed….I was still enjoying the holidays myself…in fact relaxing and admiring/appreciating all the decorations after the flurry of pre-Christmas preparations.
The problem is that we start Christmas far too early….piggybacking on Halloween/ Thanksgiving instead of backing it up where it belongs…closer to Christmas. We definitely have a time-warped dilemma in this country when we go to a drugstore around Halloween and see witches, ghosts and other Halloween supplies, along with, turkeys, pilgrims, and then angels, stars, and Christmas decorations…there is hardly any separation between these three cultural/religous events any more.
I came across an article entitled “Are You an Angel or Star Person?”… and it made me really stop and think. Personally I have always put angels on top of my Christmas trees for as long as I can remember…
This beautiful angel I bought when I didn’t have two pennies to put together…I saw her in a shop near the downtown Charleston Market area one Christmas and fell in love with her…my beautiful porcelain angel. (I remember it took me several months to pay that purchase off my credit card…but she became a favorite heirloom.)For many years…when the children were growing up…she was our angel on top of the tree each year. A comforting symbol of another Christmas with family all intact.
Then about three years ago…Ruthie the Angel came into my life with my Christmas Eve storytelling of the beloved Christmas story - The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston. (From there you remember that Honey, Brooke, and I followed the trail behind the story to Spruce Pine, NC and even attended the real Ruthie’s 95th birthday party in Waynesville, NC .)
So when I read this article taken from an earlier sermon…it really hit home with me and left me with lots of food for thought.
I want to start this morning by taking a short poll. First: How many of you still have your Christmas Tree up? Second: What do you have on the top of your Christmas tree, a star or an angel. How many of you have stars on top of your tree? How many of you have angels?
The reason I asked the first question is: Christmas, from the Christian perspective isn’t truly over until January 6th or Epiphany, the day we traditionally celebrate the visit by the Wise Men. The reason I asked the second question is: I think there are two types of people. Some are star people and some are angel people.
Biblically, the Angel represents those who had been waiting for the Messiah, for a sign from God, for a long time, like the Shepherds. They knew what the Angel meant when he told them about a Savior, a Messiah. They remembered the old prophecies. They remembered with anticipation.
And the Star was for those who were still searching, those still unsure, those still with questions, those on a quest to find out about this mystery and message from God wrapped up in human flesh and swaddling clothes.
A friend reminded me that God sent both the Angel and the Star because God always meets us where we are…
How true….God does meet us where we are and though I still have questions…(star-like) about many spiritual issues…I, also, have become more “angel-like” in my trust in God regardless of unanswered questions. My faith has become stronger concerning things I can not see while at the same time I am now seeing God’s signs and “winks” where before I did not.
So until tomorrow…may we always have a combination of the stars and angels in our lives…always stay open to new questions and possibilities in our search for answers while keeping faith and trust in God that all will be revealed in God’s time…not ours.
*Well Tommy and his friends, Bart and Jay got the job done….they did the plunge and I am so proud of all of them…since it was for such a good cause-Special Olympics. Mollie, thanks for being a witness to the feat and also the photographer….too cute! A wonderful Christmas present….thanks Tommy!
“184 Tales left to Tell”