This time of year always makes me notice so much more than usual the little parallels between the world we live in and the deeper, spiritual things that God is doing.
Christmas Trees and their beginning
I was driving today and thinking about the irony of Christmas trees, that for a lot of us, our Christmas traditions include cutting these piney, scented beauties down and bringing them into our homes. We bring creation in, and then decorate it, making it even more beautiful (in our eyes). It’s so great, and you can’t help but love it. It brings families together, and then you get to sit back and look at your embellishments. I love that the people who first decided to do this, coming up with arguably the biggest Christmas tradition of all time, put pine and fir trees in their homes. They were the only kinds of trees that could stay green and alive even in the darkest part of winter, and from that they became a symbol of everlasting life. These people did not even know the true God, or His gift of everlasting life, and they actually used the holiday to pay homage to their false gods. But their example of festivity spread to all people, of all faiths, and now we have this beautiful tradition.1 It’s incredible that God can use so many different people and beliefs and situations to make His story known everywhere.
Reminder of God’s Creation
This made me think even more about everlasting life, and of course, creation. What a gift, and what a big deal they both are. This is such a special time of year, because basically an entire month is spent, for some of us, reflecting on everlasting life, as that is what Christmas truly means. It means hope, joy, and brand new starts. These are things we are reminded of and think about every time we see a litup tree (real or not) in our living room. Every time we see a not litup tree when we go back outside this coming spring, or a mountain that has grown taller, and of course the river, which never stops moving; creation will once again help us realize a remarkable truth about God and the story He’s writing.
Heading Into the Christmas Season
I pray for each of us, that even after December has passed, we can feel that childlike Christmas glee whenever we look at a tall, beautiful tree, with branches stretching to the sky, pointing to our Father. Ever green and perfect, through all seasons and circumstances, and because all created things are there to represent their Creator let’s really notice. And, if this time of year feels like the darkest part of winter that will never end, and if you don’t feel the joy of a small child the night before Christmas, my prayer is that the truth of what God is doing, the truth of hope and a way to be new again will fall on you as rain falls over the parched Earth.