Faithful Leaves Unchanging

I wrote this last year as I prepared for the Holiday season. Because I won't be able to decorate my home for fall, I'm thinking about Christmas. Enjoy :)

I have been curious lately about why we decorate Christmas trees in our home during the holidays. If you think about it… it is pretty random. The history of the Christmas tree goes all the way back to ancient Egyptians. They believed that their sun god, Ra, became weak around this time of year, so they brought palms into their homes to give him strength. Ancient Romans also brought evergreens into their homes and temples to honor their god of agriculture. In many countries it was believed that evergreens warded off evil such as witches and demons and symbolized eternal life.

Germany is credited with the Christmas tree tradition that we are most familiar with. They would place trees inside their homes, or just outside their door, as they looked forward to the upcoming spring. Martin Luther was the first to light the evergreen. He was walking through the woods and saw the snowy trees that were glowing from the moonlight. In order to bring that aura into his home, he placed candles on the tree in order symbolize Christ’s birth (sounds dangerous to me… put fire on a TREE?).

German immigrants brought the tradition to the Americas. In 1851 a farmer, Mark Carr, hauled two oxen sleds in to New York City and sold every single one. By 1900 20 percent of America had Christmas trees in their homes; furthermore, in the 1920’s the tradition was a widespread custom.

Some say that the tree is a symbol of the tree of life. The Christmas tree has also brought about a bit of controversy. Isaiah 55 13 states that an evergreen is a sign of the Lord and should not be cut off. I feel that it is simply stating that the messiah will live forever. Jeremiah 15 refers to people cutting trees down, crafting and adorning it with silver and gold. Certain religions believe this is a reference to the Christmas tree and that the Protestant tradition is wrong.. I feel it is a reference to worshiping idols because it continues to say “their idols cannot speak.” Seems pretty explicit to me.  

So, as you adore your tree this year, why don’t you sit back and think about what it means to you? Does it inspire memories of decorating as a child? Does it remind you of all the presents that will pour from underneath? Or, does it remind you of the birth of Jesus? In your home, is your Christmas tree a tradition of family? When you think about it – garnishing your Christmas tree could very well be an act of worship.

Dear Lord,

Forgive me for getting caught up in the worldly traditions. As I put up my tree I did not reflect on you and your birth. I simply did it because… well I don’t know why I put it up. I pray that you will now be honored by our tree and that it will represent your and your light. The evergreen represents you and the gift of eternal life. May you be honored and glorified! Thank you so much for coming to the world for us. I love you Jesus!

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected, 
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -
Just a child -
Is this who we've waited for?

Give credit where credit is due:

1 comment:

Aleks said...

You are going to make a great mother! I put up my tree to remember my Grandfather and the last christmas i got to spend with him. I put the north star on the top of my tree so i can glorify Jesus his coming to earth. I fill the underneath of my tree in handmade gifts to honor my grandparents and their christmases as children when everything was handmade and not store bought junk. i cant wait to decorate this year!

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