Join us Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 beginning at 6:00 p.m. for Great Vespers and blessing of the Badnjak at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church located at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana.

The Spiritual Meaning of the Badnjak

The following writing titled “The Spiritual Meaning of the Badnjak” (Yule Log) was originally written by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic and reprinted in the Tuesday, Jan. 7, 1992 issue of the American SRBOBRAN, p. 5.

Have you ever brought a Badnjak into your home?

Do you know that the Badnjak is the finest and foremost custom of all the many traditions by which our people enhance the Christmas celebration?

The Serbs begin the celebration of Christmas with the solemn ceremony of bringing in a young OAK tree to the house.

An OAK is usually the most solid tree and produces the most heat.

Have you ever anointed the Badnjak with honey?

Have you rejoiced with your children watching its light emitted in a swarm of sparks?

Have you enjoyed its heat?

The Badnjak is the tree of happiness and sweetness, the tree of health, strength and youth, the tree of life and love.

Is there a tree of happiness in this world?  Is the Badnjak that tree or is it a semblance and symbol of that tree?  Yes, it is only the symbol and semblance.  The real tree of Happiness is HE Who was born on that radiant day.

The bringing of the Badnjak into the house represents Christ’s coming into the world and His coming into our homes and our souls!

What a glorious custom and marvelous scene!

The Badnjak represents Christ.  As a young and powerful tree the King of Love gave Himself to be slain in order to rejuvenate the world by the fragrance of eteral youth; to thaw a frozen mankind by the fire of His love; to enlighten and bring joy to all men by the flame of His Divine Revelation; to annihilate the false Gods on earth by the sparks of His words; to sweeten the bitter waters by the sweet juice of His blood.

Having brought the Badnjaks into your homes, have you brought Christ into your homes and your souls?

A picture is only a picture, but Christ is the reality.  The Badnjak is a picture of the tree of happiness and as a picture is a warning and reminder that you should bring into your homes and your souls the real tree of Happiness, the Son of God, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

His teaching, His sermon on the Mount was the sermon of Happiness and contains the only charter human happiness.  He Himself represents the true and eternal Tree of Happiness.

Connect with your local Orthodox community

This is a special time of the year and a great opportunity to connect with your local Orthodox church community. Whether you are well established within your own Orthodox community or new and seeking to learn more, the holidays are great time to find fellowship and warmth with many great people and churches.

If you are in Northwest Indiana or the Chicagoland area, we welcome you to visit us at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana. There are special services taking place frequently during January, please click the following link and visit us to find your spiritual connections – Schedule of Services – http://www.saintsava.net/celebrations-begin-christmas-eve-at-st-sava-in-merrillville-friday-jan-6/