Tuesday, December 22

advent 2009

Mankind has a primal need for symbols. I can picture ancient cave dwellers piling up stones as a monument to remind them of a transcendent experience or a successful hunt – picking up shells and stones as a reminder of meaningful places. The Bible and other ancient writings are full of images of statues and graven images of great importance to the symbolic representation of the many deities in the world at the time. Consider the modern equivalent of our graven images – money and other assorted possessions as a symbol of wealth, rings and flowers as a symbol of commitment and love, pictures as symbols of loved ones, advertising icons, trademarks, brands, and domain names. Mankind has a primal need for symbols. My own living space is full of symbols of remembrances – river rocks and sea shells from past trips, bells, statues, and assorted art to remind me of my spiritual practices, colored poker chips as a symbol of the length of my sobriety. Primal stuff. Important stuff. Things that make me fully human and a child of God. As we take great pleasure in our beautiful church and the beautifully decorated Chrismon trees this Advent season, let us remember that the Chrismon tree is highly symbolic, conveying the life of Christ and the meaning of Christmas through commonly found items and easily understood symbols borrowed or modified from other sources. Let us remember our dignity and humanity while striving to live a Christlike life in the world, with the other created beings we find ourselves in community with.

– Cleveland Beach

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