Whoville Tree

Dec 15, 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.

Traveling down the busy hallways of the Chattanooga East Lake Corps and Community Center, you will see a dream scene created from the mind of Dr. Seuss. The centerpiece of this artistic presentation is “Whoville Tree.” Adorned and surrounded by a host of green Grinch’s, the tree at East Lake offers a “Merry Grinchmas” to all of the children and families inside this bastion of light and joy in the area. The East Lake “Whoville” tree is a reminder of the joy and whimsy of Christmas. And, perhaps a little bit more…

As we journey through the season of Advent, we find ourselves in the whimsical town of Whoville. This festive community, known for its love of Christmas, faced a peculiar challenge when the Grinch stole their presents and decorations. In the midst of their suffering and disappointment, we see a striking parallel to the historical pain experienced by the people of Israel, as described in Isaiah 40:1-5.

“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the LORD has punished her twice over for all her sins.” Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!”

Isaiah's words were spoken to a people who had endured exile, captivity, and the consequences of their own disobedience. The Lord's message, however, was one of comfort and hope. In a similar vein, the Grinch's heart grew three sizes, and Whoville experienced a transformation when the true meaning of Christmas touched his heart.

The connection between these narratives lies in the idea of comfort in the midst of suffering. Isaiah's prophecy spoke of God's intention to bring consolation to a people who had faced the consequences of their actions. Similarly, the Grinch's heartwarming change brought comfort and joy to the people of Whoville, teaching them that Christmas was about more than just material possessions.

Isaiah's imagery of preparing the way for the Lord, making paths straight, and leveling uneven ground is reflected in the Grinch's journey from a heart two sizes too small to one filled with the warmth of love and compassion. The mountains of pride and valleys of greed were made low, and the rough places of bitterness became a plain of forgiveness and reconciliation.

As we reflect on the contrasting sufferings of Israel and Whoville, let us remember that God's message of comfort and redemption extends to all who find themselves in the wilderness of despair. Christmas, with its celebration of the birth of Christ, is a reminder that God enters into our brokenness, transforming it into a highway for His grace.

May we, like the people of Whoville, experience the joy of redemption and the comfort that comes from knowing that the glory of the Lord is revealed in unexpected places, even amid our struggles.

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