Telling the Whole Story
Greetings, fellow disciples of Jesus,
I read recently, “Christ is not a part of the Christmas story. Christmas is a part of the Christ story.” In a season where we focus so intently—and rightly so—on Jesus’ pre-natal life, birth and infancy, we can forget that there is a whole lot going on in this story. This miracle baby grew to be a man, as babies are wont to do. That man’s life—His interactions with the poor and downtrodden, His proclamation of the nearness of the reign of God, and especially His death and resurrection from the dead—is why we celebrate His birth.
That greater Story gets lost sometimes in our celebrations of this season. The presents, the decorations, the feasts can distract us from the main event—the point of it all. We need corrective reminders that will point us to the fullness of what is happening here.
Thankfully, in 1957 The Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Danville, Virginia developed a way of telling the whole story of Christ in the midst of the Christmas season: Chrismons. These are white and gold ornaments for a Christmas tree which, by their symbolism, point to Christ and His work.
Not too long after Chrismons were developed in Virginia, St. John’s, Stony Ridge adopted the practice of making and displaying Chrismons for our congregation. A team of members here crafted these symbols—some ornate, some simple—to tell the whole story of Christ. For over fifty years, they have reminded the worshippers at St. John’s that there is more to the story of Christ than Christmas.
Here are just a few of the dozens of Chrismons that adorn our tree in St. John’s sanctuary:
Do you have a favorite symbol of Christ or His Church? Did you or someone you know have a hand in making these beautiful Chrismons for St. John’s?
Trying to tell the whole story,