Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What the Christmas Tree really means

Who doesn't love Christmas? There's something magical about it isn't there? The snow (or at least fake snow), hot drinks, cozy fireplaces, carols, sumptuous feasts, lights in dark day, Santa Claus and great gifts... and not least of them the Christmas tree. I guess it's the way we're bought up... the whole season has an air of joviality that's ingrained into our minds as children. I like it. And while many Christians fuss about the commercialization... honestly, how much are they going to keep fussing? If you don't want to celebrate Christ, don't! I know I do and I want to do that everyday. In fact, here's a great secret to life, if you know God loves you, you'll let anything you come by be a reminder of that truth, whether it's a summer sunset or Christmas-shopping frenzy in a mall. The opposite is also true.

Courtesy of Flickr - bgottsab; modified by D.R.
But seriously, perhaps one of the greatest symbols of the hijacking of Christmas is the Christmas tree. I mean, who really knows where that tradition comes from? And yet, one day it came to me that the Christmas tree is one of the strongest, purest and most beautiful symbols of Christmas out there, and whether it's by design it, it is my meaning that is the most important for it.

 "It is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" Gal 3:13

Do you know that's why Jesus came? To be cursed on a tree. Two Trees were there at the beginning. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Which one do you think Jesus died on? Which one are you sitting under today, even as you read this? Which one do you eat of it's fruit? The greatest hijacking of all time, is the deception of the Tree - most people sit under the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil - and, I daresay, most Christians too. They study under it and they meditate under it's shadow and they eat it's fruit daily. What does that tree bring? One thing - death and all of it's workings. If you know what the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, really is, then consider what most sermons and teachings in Christianity today (or any other faith) talk about? Is it not knowing more about what is good and what is evil? We don't need that anymore! At least, Jesus didn't think we did. He wasn't a moral teacher. He was here to give Life and show us Who Life really is. 

Jesus died on that tree that you would live forever eating from the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life's leaves are evergreen and bring healing. The Tree of Life's fruit is delicious reviving the soul and awakening us to the love of God. It brings freedom and joy and peace. The Christmas Tree is a symbol of the Tree of Life. It's leaves are evergreen and it is a symbol of prosperity with it's gift strewn at it's foot. It's fruit are glistening and shining with the glory of God to bless all those that come and eat from it. It's a tree pointing straight upwards to heaven's throne, reminding you of He who left it all and humbled Himself, coming into the world as a mere Man without even the honor of being born in a home but a smelly stable instead and with no baby bed, but rather a feeding trough that livestock's mouths were accustomed to using to eat!

On the other hand, the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil is nothing more than religion. And it is the tree Jesus died on. (Funny that Jesus died on a wooden cross, isn't it? The Son of God came to redeem mankind's misfortune of eating from the wrong tree by dying on one!). On that cross (the tree) Jesus hung... the most blessed heir and Son of God, was so united to our curse, to what we deserve, He became a curse! (see Gal 3:13).

Hear Peter exclaiming to Jesus, "The fig tree you cursed has withered!" That has a different meaning when we talk about this!

So look on to the Christmas tree and embrace those warm, magical feelings. But also see what that Tree is truly showing you. Look on and thank God, as you see it pointing to the coming of the Son of God. And as the days (for us in the Northern Hemisphere) become now longer, so understand, the dawning of the Son of Man on earth is the beginning of a new age... the age of the Kingdom of God on earth! It doesn't come with religion, it comes with Life, wrapped in God's gift of love and grace.

May His glory rest on you ever increasingly! Nations come to you as they see the dawning of the Morning Star in your heart! You are the son and daughter of God whose portion is the Tree of Life! Enjoy it this Christmas! Rest under the sweet sound of it's leaves and relish it's life-giving fruit. In Jesus' name, be blessed and Merry Christmas to you all!

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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