Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hanging of the Greens

And the pastor announced, “Next week, we will be decorating the church”. All of a sudden my mind flashes back 35 years ago to the Annual “Hanging of the Greens”. Same church, … some of the same people. Instead of the energetic youthful spirits of teenagers, there are energetic senior men climbing ladders to put up Christmas lights and a Christmas angel on top of the tree, and gentle senior women hanging handcrafted ornaments on the branches. There are garlands of green and red flowers wrapped around banisters and pillars near pews. The greenery may not necessarily have that fresh pine and douglas firs smell of old, but the effect was one of beauty and joy. As teens, we used to climb into the Red Van of one of our fellow youth and raid the Christmas tree lots for discarded greenery from trimmed trees. A nighttime Christmas scene was also being built by the Vietnamese church members who now share the church facilities.

I cannot recall when this tradition started, but I remember participating in it with my young friends. In fact, it may be one of the first fun events that drew me to return to this lovely church where I gave my life to follow Christ as my Savior and that gave me a special meaning to celebrate His birth. It was a lovely time and 35 years later was no different. There was much joy and laughter mixed in with some melancholy memories of church members laid to rest or those who have moved on. Of course, I could not help but think about my Walter and how he loved this time of year. 

 Isn’t it amazing?! It made me realize that life will go on and so will Christmas until every day will be celebrated of the Lord’s coming. Emmanuel, God is with US.

No comments: