Posts Tagged ‘Christmas tree’

The Message in the Christmas Tree

December 27, 2011

Well, Christmas is over, but before you take down the Christmas tree, I wanted to share what we can see in the message of the Christmas tree.

The first thing that I notice is the lights.  They shine brightly and can be seen easily, not only by the people in the house, but by people outside, if the shades are open.

Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness.  He is at the heart of the Christmas message.  There are many lights on a Christmas tree because the light of Jesus shines through the lives of Christian people.  We need to open the shades of our lives, and let the light of Christ shine.

The tinsel that is draped all over the tree hangs in vertical lines.  These lines remind me of the prayers of the people of God as they lift their concerns to Him.  They also remind me of the answers that God gives to His people.    The tinsel ascends and descends, like the angels on Jacob’s ladder.

The garland is draped around the tree and is meant to give an appearance of continuity.  I am reminded of the passage of the faith through the ages.  Generation after generation sharing the message and the love of Jesus.

Ornaments of all kinds hang upon the tree.  These ornaments remind me that all good gifts come from God.  Our lives are filled with many people, objects, and events that add beauty and color to our existence.

As I sit on my couch and look at the tree I notice that not all is light and color.  There are patches of darkness that persist even with all the decorations.  This darkness reminds me that life does indeed have it times of testing, trial and tribulation.  There are times of sorrow and times of heaviness of heart.  We do not deny that these times exist, but we trust that God is with us always, even in the days of darkness.

As we look more closely we see not just the decorations, but the tree itself.  It is an evergreen, symbolic of eternal life.  Even as the leaves of an evergreen do not die, even so there is a part of human life that does not die, but is eternal.

Looking to the heart of the tree, we see the trunk, and are reminded that even though we are celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, we must never forget the purpose for which He came.  He came to earth to die upon the cross for the sins of the world.  The trunk reminds us of the wood of the cross upon which Christ died.

Christmas colors are red and green.  This reminds me that the blood of Christ provides eternal life for those who believe in Him.

So, before you take the tree down, take one last look, and remember the message in the Christmas tree.

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Is Christmas Pagan?

December 9, 2010

Over the years I have occasionally heard accusations that many Christmas traditions are rooted in non-Christian religions.

It’s true.

The Christmas tree, holly, mistletoe, yule log, and probably some other  Christmas traditions were  indeed part of non-Christian religions earlier in history.

When the church was expanding into Europe there were very popular mid-winter celebrations that entire communities had celebrated for generations.  It was very difficult to eliminate these traditions, so the Christian community incorporated them instead.  They were given new meanings as they became symbols used by a new faith.

I like to think of them as having been converted.

Yes, they were pagan, but they are Christian now.