Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tinsel on Christmas Trees

Saturday after Advent 1
December 5, 2009

The Lord be with you

There are many traditions surrounding Christmas. One of those is decorating Christmas trees. This practice, so we are told, began with Martin Luther. Of course Luther’s tree would have been quite meager compared to the elaborated trees of today.

One item often found on Christmas Trees is tinsel. The ledged about why this tradition began is, no doubt, not as sure as the one about Luther. The story goes that once there was a poor widow who was distressed at the coming of Christmas because she could not afford any presents for her children. Still, she was determined to do what she could, so she went out Christmas Eve to chop down a Christmas Tree. She decorated it with all she could, nuts, fruits, paper chains, and such. Then she went to bed, still concerned that her children would be disappointed because there were no presents.

There were spiders in the home who had watched the widows’ efforts. After she retired they came down and began to spin their webs all over the tree. The spiders left the tree covered with a beautiful lace. When the widow and her children awoke Christmas morning they were stunned by the beauty of the tree for a miracle had occurred. After the spiders had left, God had turned the spiders’ web into pure silver. Ever since people have used tinsel on their Christmas Trees as a reminder of this Christmas wonder.

While the story is not true, it might be a nice way to accent God’s continual care for us. That care is seen most clearly in the person and work of Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate in December.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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