Is your Christmas tree up yet? It’s our family tradition to get our tree the day after Thanksgiving and get it up and decorated before the weekend is over. It’s quite the family affair. We’ve learned through the years it’s better if only one of us does the lights and then everyone joins in for the ornaments. Our children get a new Christmas ornament every year from us. We write their name on it and date it. We plan to give them their ornaments as a house warming gift for their first home so they have some ornaments for their first tree.
Each ornament on our tree holds special meaning. They are a collection of ornaments we’ve bought from the places we’ve traveled, gifts from friends and family or our children’s creations. When we decorate the tree, it is like a walk down memory lane. We recount the stories behind the ornaments, remembering sweet times and precious people. We walk away grateful for the journey God has taken us down and the people we’ve encountered along the way.
The Israelites were also in the habit of marking events that had taken place on their journey so they and their children wouldn’t forget the goodness of God. They would build an altar to serve as a marker of God’s faithfulness and their gratitude. Noah did this when the ark finally came to rest on solid ground [Genesis 8:17-22]. Moses built an altar to remember God faithfully delivering Joshua in battle while he, Aaron and Hur prayed on the hillside [Exodus 17:1-16]. The Israelites built an altar after crossing the Jordan successfully and entering the land the Lord had promised them [Joshua 4:1-9].
As you begin to decorate your home to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, look for your stones that you set up around your home that put you in remembrance of the faithfulness of God and what He’s brought you through. Share them with your children and with those you entertain during the season. They serve not only as a symbol of remembrance for you and your family, but also as a tool for evangelism as you share the history behind them with others.
I’ve shared how our family’s Christmas ornaments serve that purpose for us. What about you? Tell us about one of your family stones you set out each Christmas. We’d love to hear. What are your memorials of God’s faithfulness?