Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree…
Christmas celebrations come replete with a cornucopia of customs, decor, carols, colors, bells, ribbons, and aromas. A much-loved fragrance and happy sight is the decorated Christmas tree lit up with twinkling stars and family memories passed down from grandmas to granddaughters in hanging ornaments.
I recently saw an Instagram post of a worship leader, whom I deeply appreciate and respect, standing before her towering majestic stunning sparkling Christmas tree. A look of pure peace and contentment filled her face. Her husband, who had posted the photo, wrote the caption, “A girl and her tree.” The moment captured in that photo moved me.
Yes, a dying-former-treehugging part of me wants to protest, “Tree genocide!” whenever Christmas rolls around. But then a bigger part of me stops and wonders why this photo has moved me so deeply:
Here is a living tree, decades or hundreds of years old and thus carrying the imprint of history, surrendering its beauty and arms to us. Its death brings us joy, merriment, celebration (thank you, tree). This tree reminds me of Jesus and His sacrifice, His wooden cross. His death that brought us life.
In the tree’s decorations, I see again how Jesus is the true vine in whom we abide, and just as we adorn the tree, we crown Jesus with our worship and adoration. Just as we put gifts under the tree to give our loved ones, so we bring an offering of love and sacrifice and lay them at the feet of Jesus.
Just as the Christmas tree is an evergreen, so is Jesus always living, green, fruitful, eternal. The Christmas tree reminds me to abide in Him, so that I too will be evergreen like the Psalmist writes (Ps. 92:12-14):
The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
The grand Christmas tree reminds me of God’s beauty and majesty, inseparable from His love, His sacrifice in giving His Son for us. The tree reminds me of His fragrant faithfulness that fills our heart and beckons the lost back home to a warm fireplace, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and a tree twinkling with a glorious mystery.