by Brian Wuerch
My Christmas wreath received a makeover this year. For many years we have hung a large wreath high on our exterior chimney facade. We add lights and a huge red bow for embellishment. But, this year, as I brought the old wreath down from our attic, it was obvious that it was in need of some TLC. The old white lights were not working, and the bow was ragged and faded, having succumbed to the Fall winds of the prior season. Not to worry! After a quick trip to Big Lots, the lights were upgraded from white minis to large colored LEDs, and the new big red bow, made of stiff plastic and complete with glitter was attached to the top securely to withstand any manner of Indiana weather.
Christians have traditionally used the Christmas Wreath as a symbol of Advent which marks the beginning of the Christian liturgical year. The advent wreath is said to have originated in Hamburg, Germany by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a Protestant pastor who wanted to illustrate to children the meaning of Christmas. Wichern originally used an old cart wheel with candles attached that were lit during the Advent season in anticipation Christmas Day. (Wikipedia, 2017) More modern versions of the wreath are constructed with evergreens to represent the everlasting life received through Jesus Christ. The circular shape of the wreath is a clear symbol that God has no beginning, and no end. (Wikipedia, 2017)
But all the history aside…I sometimes find myself like my old wreath; in desperate need of a makeover. My light is not shining bright, and I feel ragged and faded…beat up by the ways of this world. Big Lots provides no help! Isaiah 40:31 says; “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” During this season of Advent, we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. And as we wait, we embrace the joy and wonder of the Christmas season which renews our spirit.
I hope you take time during this glorious season to receive a makeover. Rest, and enjoy the sights and sounds that Advent brings. Reflect on the Amazing Grace we have through Christ and lift your voice in celebration. We are told to, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” (Psalm 98:4). How awesome we become when we are sanctified in Christ!
Wikipedia. (2017, December 5). Advent Wreath. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent_wreath
Wikipedia. (2017, August 26). Wreath. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreath