Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life. Rev. 22:14 (NIV)
One of my favorite childhood memories involves a huge fir tree that graced our living room every year. It went up about two weeks before Christmas and was decorated as a family project with bubble lights, collectible glass balls, and aluminum icicles carefully laid by hand on each branch one at a time.
One year when my sister and I were teenagers, our tree began showing serious signs of dying, a week before Christmas. Each day we vacuumed more brown needles. By Christmas Eve, it was obvious that our tree would not last through Christmas Day, and would absolutely be naked by New Year’s Eve. We purchased another tree—one with green needles. We took down the dead tree, cleaned up the mess, put up the new tree and finished decorating it before Santa put out presents for our little sister.
The custom of decorating a tree as part of the Christmas celebration is a modern invention that at first seems to have nothing to do with our Lord and Savior. Yet a tree is often mentioned in scripture. Adam and Eve suffered dire consequences when they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of good and evil (Gen 3:13-18). The crowd waved branches from a palm tree when Jesus entered the city (John 12:13). Jesus died, hanging on a tree (1Peter 2:24). The Lord promises that those who overcome will have the right to eat from the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).
Scripture reveals that, after all, the Christmas tree is not an empty symbol.
Lord, help me to be reminded of all You have done for me when I see a Christmas tree.
© 2011 Christy Struben