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ornamental religion

Carl Medearis said something in a recent sermon at Mountainview that grabbed my attention.  I’ll paraphrase:  Sometimes the ornaments obscure the Christmas tree.  The ornaments may be pretty, sentimental, or traditional but they are not the tree.

Applying this to church (and perhaps Christianity in general), the tree is Jesus.  Yet we often allow our traditions (the ornaments) to obscure the tree.  Even today’s innovations may inadvertently draw attention away from the tree they are supposed to accent.

Ornaments have meaning, even value.  They represent family and memories and love.  But they are not the tree.

If all the ornaments were taken away, would we be satisfied with just the tree?