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Candle in the Night

Saturday, November 26, 2011

31 Days to Christmas Day 2: Christmas Tree

31 Days to Christmas Day 2: Christmas Tree
I know the Christmas tree is the subject of great debate in the Christian world.  After doing some research, I really believe the scripture in Jeremiah used as the reason for not decorating a tree to be referring to idols.  Although the Christmas tree was originally used in pagan traditions, if we were going to throw everything out of our lives that originated from pagans, we wouldn’t have much of a life.  I prefer to think on the scripture about God taking things that we meant for evil and using them for His good purposes.  That being said, if you and your family don’t put up a Christmas tree, please don’t let that keep you from continuing to read the posts in this series.  I knew that this post might be somewhat controversial, but I just couldn’t leave it out. Growing up, the Christmas tree provided me with many great memories and I felt like that deserved a place in this series. 

The Christmas tree holds special meaning for Christmas.  Each part is a symbol, something to remind us of what it is we celebrate.  As you set up your tree this year, think about each symbol.  If you have children, be sure to talk about it with them.


The Tree:  
The tree is an evergreen.  It symbolizes life that never ends which is what we have because Jesus came to earth for us. 

The Angel: 
Some people choose to have an angel at the top of their tree, others have angel ornaments.  Wherever you have your angels, think about the angel that came to Mary, the angels who visited the shepherds, and much later, the two angels outside the tomb who proclaimed that Christ had risen. 

Lights: 
Jesus came to be a light for all mankind.  He is the light that leads us to our Heavenly Father and we are to be lights for Him. 

Star
The star atop the tree reminds us of the start that led the wise men to the Christ child. 

Garland or Tinsel: 
Most people have silver or gold tinsel on their tree.  This can be a symbol of the gifts the wise men brought to the manger and how we are to bring God our very best. 

Animals: 
Many people have animal ornaments on the tree.  The cows, horses, sheep, and donkeys can remind us of the humble stable where Jesus was born.  Other animals can remind us of the wonder of God’s creation. 

Candy Canes: 
Candy canes have a beautiful story that we’ll look at later.  For now, we’ll just say that they can be a reminder of the shepherd staff that Jesus uses to gently bring us (His sheep) back into the fold. 

Paper Chain: 
A neat idea I've seen is to put names of our family on each link and talk about how God has brought us together to be one family. 

Musical Instruments: 
Harp, trumpet, bells, cymbals, lute, lyre, clarinet, flute…  These and many more are instruments referred to in the Bible.  As you place small instrument ornaments on your tree, think about how these must have sounded when played the night of Christ’s birth.  And reflect on how they will sound when He comes again.  Also, if you have children who play instruments, this might be a good time to talk about how we should do everything to the glory of God and do our very best to please Him. 

Candles: 
We don’t put real candles on our trees anymore, but we do put fake ones on and have real ones around the house.  As you light the candles, reflect on how Jesus wants our lamps to be full so we can be ready for Him when He comes back to us. 

Bells: 
Bells have long been played to call people to worship.  As you place bells on your tree, reflect on how God is calling this Christmastime to be a time of worshiping Him. 

As you set up and decorate your tree, try not to get too caught up in getting it done that you forget to focus on the meaning for it all.  Let Jesus speak to your heart as you do things that are there to remind you of Him. 
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
As you set up your evergreen, remember that Christ came so we could have everlasting life. 





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Candle in the Night

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1 Comments:

At November 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Blogger RedeemedbyGrace said...

I must be honest, I have never thought about the Christmas Tree in pagan terms, although I am sure there are many who are not comfortable with it.
I think that you have ascribed some beautiful explanations to the different aspects of the tree and decorations.
A beautiful post - thank you!

Blessings,

Liezel

 

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