Nov 28 2010

Nature’s Chrismons

GSM-trees-and-fog-004Today is the first Sunday in Advent.  We had a Chrismon service at our church this morning.  For those who may not know, Chrismons are symbols that speak of our Lord and God.  The word Chrismon is a combination of the words “Christ” and “monogram.”  Chrismons are used to decorate Christmas trees.  Their purpose is to help congregations and individuals keep their focus on Christ.  The beautiful Chrismons we use were made by members of our church.  We had approximately fifty different Chrismons.  The majority of these were crosses and symbols of the Trinity.  Other symbols included angels, crowns, Chi Rhos, and Iota Chis.  The last two use Greek letters to speak of Christ and Jesus Christ.  There were also symbols from the world of nature—stars, fish, and butterflies.  I really like our Chrismon tree and the way it keeps us focused on the true meaning of the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Christmas is extremely commercialized these days so anything that helps keep our focus on Christ is good.

Yosemite-streamI think that there are plenty of things in the natural world that can serve as Chrismons for us now and throughout the year.  Rocks can serve as a reminder that Jesus is the “rock of our salvation.”  Rivers, ponds and streams can call to mind Jesus’ baptism and the “living water” he came to give.  The sun and stars can remind us of the truth that Jesus is the “light of the world.”  Trees can remind us of the cross on which Jesus died for the sins of the world.   Butterflies can remind us of Jesus’ resurrection and the new life he makes available to all who turn to him.  I could go on and on. 

There truly is much in nature that can lead us to remember our Creator.  The earth proclaims his glory and bears witness to his love and might.  The apostle Paul would even go so far as to say, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) 

The Chrismons we placed on the tree at church today will only be there through the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Nature’s Chrismons, however, are there year round beckoning us to remember and to worship the King of kings and Lord of Lords.  To him be the glory now and forevermore!


(I took the top image at Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The bottom picture was taken near Tuoloumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.)