Gnome Tree

Dec 22, 2023

The Chattanooga Area Command is thrilled to share the much-anticipated Christmas Tree Decorating Contest for 2023. As the holiday season approached, our community participated by spreading joy and festive spirit, showcasing their creativity through beautifully adorned Christmas trees. The Chattanooga Area Command is excited to witness the creativity and enthusiasm of our community as we embark on this festive journey together. The Christmas Tree Decorating Contest promises to be a highlight of the holiday season, bringing joy and warmth to our community. Due to the impressive submissions, we have created a short Christmas devotion series to lead us through the season.

Positioned a little way into the Residential Reentry Center (RRC), you will find their very proud and very joyful gnome tree. The Gnome Tree not only symbolizes the joy and laughter of Christmas, but it also represents a very important part of the RRC. The RRC stands halfway between incarceration and being on your own for many of our neighbors and friends. Every day, the men and women in the Residential Reentry Center provide a way forward for people that other parts of society would dismiss or forget. The RRC becomes “home” for that person as they transition back into daily life. Because of the RRC program, many people will be “gnome” for Christmas!

As we gather together during this joyous Christmas season, our hearts resonate with the warmth and familiarity of home. Whether it's the comfort of family, the embrace of old friends, or the cherished memories of yesteryears, the concept of "home" holds a special place in our hearts.

John 14:23 NLT - "Jesus replied, 'All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.'"

In this verse, Jesus paints a beautiful picture of divine intimacy and the promise of a home that transcends the physical. This truth resonates with the experiences of the importance of home and belonging. When I see the tree at the RRC, my heart wants to sing, “I’ll be gnome for Christmas!”

Christmas is a time when we intentionally seek the warmth of our homes, where love is the language, and joy is the atmosphere. Just as our earthly homes are filled with the laughter of family and friends, Jesus promises to make His home in our hearts. The love we share with our dear ones becomes a reflection of the divine love that dwells within us when we embrace Jesus.

Imagine the excitement and anticipation of a college student returning home for Christmas. The journey back is more than a physical movement; it's a heart's pilgrimage to the place of love, acceptance, and understanding. In the same way, our spiritual journey involves coming back to the heart of God, our eternal home, where forgiveness and grace welcome us with open arms. We have experienced that feeling in our own hearts as our son is home from his first semester in college over 11 hours away. Now, he is “gnome” for the holidays!

As we celebrate this Christmas season, let's remember the profound truth of John 14:23. Jesus longs to make His “gnome” in our hearts, bringing the assurance of eternal love and a sense of belonging that transcends our earthly experiences. May your homes be filled not only with the joy of the season but also with the presence of the One who makes our hearts His home.

Recent Stories

Get Involved

A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.