Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Christmas Trees!

I've been thinking about Christmas trees lately. I mean, they are everywhere this time of year. I guess it's only natural to be thinking about them. However, my thoughts of late have dwelt more on the supernatural. Be assured, I do not believe there is any power inherent in the trees themselves! They are just plants (or these days, plastic), but they can be powerful reminders of what God has done for us.

First of all, just like pines and firs, God created us. He didn't have to make us at all, but He did. More than that, he took more time with humanity than with any other aspect of creation. We were created, made, and formed (look in Genesis—you'll find all three verbs). He wanted someone with whom to share His world and His love that would respond in kind. After all, the trees just stand there and wave. We were also designed to live forever. Death was not part of God's original design for humanity. That came only after the fall. Kind of like an evergreen. Christmas trees help me remember.

By God's design, the trees used for Christmas make an arrow pointing upward, reminding us that there is more to this life. Now, God is not "up" but He is higher. His ways are higher than our ways. There is life from above and grace from above and wisdom from above. In all the hustle and bustle of what Christmas has become, let us not forget that God sent His son, through humble beginnings, to experience life as one of us and then to die, redeeming us from an inborn sin nature. May our thoughts, especially at Christmastime, be ever on the Gift that came from above. Christmas trees help me remember. Thank you God!

We love to decorate Christmas trees. Some do it the day after Thanksgiving; others choose to do it the day before Christmas. We put things from our past and things others give us on the tree to make it more pleasing to the eye. These decorations, or ornaments, remind me of God's invitation to cast our cares on Christ. Things from our past haunt us, but we give them over. Others give us grief or heartache (they're only human after all), but we give them over. Christ takes our burdens, worries, and sources of stress on Himself and turns them into something precious, something pleasing to His eye. Christmas trees help me remember.

Finally, when the holiday arrives (or sooner in some families), the Christmas tree is surrounded by gifts in pretty paper, presents that show our love for one another. As we lift Christ in our hearts and lives, He bestows on us His gifts, blessings, and yes, His presence. Gifts like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, mountain-moving faith, speaking in a heavenly language, and seeing someone healed allow us to boldly proclaim God's goodness to other people. Blessings like a faithful and loving wife, devoted pastors, and children that love to love remind us that we are precious in God's eyes. His presence reminds us that we are never alone. I remember what David wrote, that even in the deepest pit or on the highest of heights, God is there. We can't get away from Him! Christmas trees help me remember.

Christmas trees help me remember all the things God has done for me. How do they speak to you?

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