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December 5

Advent Image

As a child, my parents often took me to see the Christmas lights in George Square in Glasgow. One of the highlights was the large Christmas Tree, which my parents told me came from Norway.

Over 50 years later, I was fortunate to travel regularly to Norway on business. One cold evening in Oslo, as I walked into the city centre over the frozen snow, I saw their tree decorated with only white lights and a large star. Much to my surprise, I had the sudden need to touch the tree. it was a very emotional moment, evoking thoughts of family long gone, and of the Christmas to come. 

Christmas Tree lights may be linked to Martin Luther. One clear frosty night, as he walked home, thinking about his next sermon, he was overwhelmed by the brightness of the Milky Way.  This inspired him to recreate this, in a small way, for his children, by adding candles to their tree.

Christmas can be a time of joy or dark despair.  Many of us reach out hoping to touch something. to give us hope and long-lasting relief from our worries.  As Christmas approaches and we look at decorated trees why not take Jesus seriously when he says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”


Tom McConnell