We all bring our favorite holiday snack, play some fun party games, laugh & giggle like school girls - and then go home with a sweet reminder of our time together. (I still don't know what food I'm taking... any suggestions?)
As I was shopping for my ornament this week, I started thinking about the history of Christmas ornaments. Why do we hang these beautiful creations on our tree? So I did a little research and I love what I learned.
One of the symbols of the Christmas tree is life. Winter can be a harsh time, most things go dormant, it's cold & wet and gets dark earlier. The evergreen tree symbolizes everlasting life and gives us the hope of the Spring to come and a time of renewal.
In the 15th century the Germans brought the tree inside the home and began to decorate it with fruits & nuts, food items that typically grew on tress. Once again to point to the new life & hope that would be waiting for them in the Spring.
Eventually these food items were replaced with candy, paper streamers, and especially things that would give off some sort of light! Things like metal shavings (our modern day tinsel), candles, and glass that would reflect the light!
Tonight I'm going to take a small little ornament that symbolizes hope and light and likewise I'll go home with an ornament of my own to remember this very special night with friends.
But today as I was praying over our time together, I thought about the ultimate "exchange" that happened with the Light of the World so many years ago. The Lord knew we would experience harsh and dark times in our life. He knew we would need more than the hope of Spring, but rather hope for our very lives! So He sent His Son to die for us all. And in "exchange" for His life, we give Him ours. We let Him be in control of all that we say and do - and as a result, we can have light and hope from which to live!
So this year, as you exchange gifts and perhaps even ornaments...
remember the ultimate exchange that was made for you
and let it transform your life with a beautiful hope!