This is my article that was published today in the Natoma-Luray Independent section of The Russell County News and that will be published tomorrow in The Plainville Times.
A season for killing trees
So it occurred to me the other day that the church was going through a lot of paper in a very short period of time. I had just used a ream of paper to print off the Higher Things devotionals for the youth of the congregation; 2 more reams of paper had been used printing off the Lutheran Hour Ministries devotionals for the whole congregation; and another ream would be used printing off the large print editions and the bulletins for the midweek services.
That’s a lot of trees being put to use for the purpose of celebrating the Advent season of the Church Year; not just at our congregation in Kansas, but at similar congregations across the country.
But bulletins and devotionals will not be the only need for trees this Advent season. How many more trees are being cut down for the purpose of decorating churches and homes for Christmas?
As it turns out, Advent is not just a season of preparation for the coming of the Christ child, but it is also a season for killing trees.
Perhaps that is a subtle reminder of what Advent is preparing us for. Advent is the time of preparation for when another tree will be cut down in order to use the wood for the manger that would be built for a cattle stall in Bethlehem where the little Lord Jesus would lay His sweat head on that first Christmas night some 2000 years ago.
But that will not be the last tree that will be cut down and put to use during the life of Jesus. Another tree awaits Him: one upon which He will be nailed to and crucified.
Advent is all about preparing for Jesus, who comes to go to the cross.
Of course the tree of the cross cannot contain our Lord; who bursts forth from the tomb three days later.
And now, all those trees that are cut down to make the paper for devotionals and bulletins during Advent; and all those trees cut down to be covered in lights and tinsel, are all pointing us to the tree that Jesus was crucified upon, so that you might have the greatest gift of all in forgiveness, life and salvation.
Advent is a season for killing trees; Advent is a season pointing to the tree of the cross; Advent is a season of the life that is found in Jesus alone.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt