Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 18

Crown  Matthew 27:29; John 19:2; Psalms 8:5; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; Revelation 4:4-11; 14:14 Distinctive head ornaments have been used as rewards for prowess, and as signs of authority and dominion, for millennia.  Laurel wreaths were given in Greece and Rome to victorious athletes and conquering generals.  The word “Laureate” used in such terms… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 18

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 17

Seven Pointed Star Revelation 5:12-13; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Philippians 3:7-8, 4:7-8; Revelation 2:4-5 The number seven has had many different meanings over the centuries. The heptagram, or seven pointed star, is considered a sacred symbol in the Wiccan tradition and a symbol of magical power in other pagan beliefs. The Navajo… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 17

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 16

Grapes Genesis 9:20; Proverbs 31:6-7; Luke 20:9-18; John 15:1-11; 1 Timothy 5:23 Grapes have been a staple of life since the beginning of civilization.  Details of grape production are found on hieroglyphics of the 4th Egyptian dynasty (2400 BC).  Hunter-gatherer societies were lightly populated and often able to find clean fresh water in the environment. … Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 16

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 15

Shamrock John 14:1-12; Colossians 1:15-20; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1 The shamrock is one of the best known symbols of the Trinity. Legend tells us that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain his belief in the Holy Trinity to the High King of Ireland about 464 A.D. The astonished monarch was angry because he felt… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 15

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 14

Chi Rho John 1:40‑41 In his book on the life of the Emperor Constantine, the Church Father Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 A.D.), wrote that prior to the final battle against Maxentius in the Saxa Rubra, Constantine decided that the fight would be carried not by armies, but by divine favor.  He considered his predecessors, fighting… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 14

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 13

Chalice Isaiah 51:17; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:22‑26; Revelation 3:20 December 13 – Chalice Isaiah 51:17; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:22‑26; Revelation 3:20 To share someone’s food and drink is to be in intimacy with them.  The life of the strongest man is vulnerable to poisons in his food and drink, and kings and emperors for thousands… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 13

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 12

Shepherd’s Crook Exodus 12; Numbers 27:16-17; Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 23; John 1:29; 10:11‑18 More than any other class of livestock, sheep require constant and meticulous care.  Sheep are timid and fearful, stubborn and stupid, and will move with the mob, even to their own destruction.  At the sight of a predator, sheep panic, losing their… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 12

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 11

Eight Pointed Star Genesis 7, 8; I Peter 3:18‑22 “Nuclear holocaust”, “Global Warming”, “Overpopulation”, “Pandemic Flu”, and a host of other predictions of calamity fill the news in the 21st century.  This is nothing new…newspapers of earlier centuries; pamphlets before that and stories earlier still have contained the same thing.  Bad news (or even predictions)… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 11

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 10

Wheat John 6:31‑58; Matthew 26:26‑29 Since antiquity, wheat has been the most important grain in the world.  China, traditionally considered a rice-eating country, annually consumes 190 lbs per capita of wheat, mostly in noodles.  Each person in the US consumes about 144 lbs per year.  Wheat is even more important in the Middle East, with… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 10

Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 9

Dove Genesis 8:6-12; Leviticus 1:14-17; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:15‑25 The dove is mentioned often in the Bible, from helping Noah know when the waters had receded, to serving as a sacrifice for the poor.  The dove is also the most common image of the Holy Spirit.  Do you recall the scripture passages which tell… Read More Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 9