To Tree or Not To Tree, That is the Question
I wonder if you are like me at Christmas-time? Because of trauma and broken family traditions and feelings of sadness, I struggle every year to put up the Christmas tree. I have endless conversations inside my head about the reasons why I don’t feel like getting the tree out of its box in the back of the closet and hauling all the decorations down the stairs to the living room. This week we argued in my head for several days before I decided, “Yes, it’s the right thing to do at this time of year, so just hush up, Self.”
I know that I’m not alone in this. A friend last week straight out told me, “No, not putting up the tree, not doing decorations, I’ll just buy the kids some presents and I know they’ll understand. Besides, Christmas is about Jesus.”
And, of course, she is right. We celebrate Christmas because God chose to send His one and only Son to earth on a Rescue Mission. Jesus began His Rescue Mission by being born to poor folks in a sheep shed and was laid in a feeding trough as a bed. He was visited by shepherds who heard the Herald Angels singing the Good News of Great Joy and then later on by Wise Men from faraway places bringing valuable gifts to Him and the family.
The Rescue Mission of God’s Son Jesus Christ culminated with His torture and death on a Roman cross about 33 years later. He died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. His friends and family mourned and suffered terribly for their unbelievable loss. How could He rescue anyone when He was dead?
But joyfully and miraculously, the Rescue Mission continued three days later when He rose from the dead and appeared to many folks, including His disciples over the course of the next forty days.
He is the Risen Savior and He lives to ever intercede for us at the throne of His Father. I am so thankful for that because that’s the only reason why I could put up my Christmas tree again this year.
For all of our sadness, trauma, hopelessness and fear of the future, we can look to Jesus, the King of our hearts and Prince of Peace, our Almighty God and Everlasting Father, our Wonderful Counselor. He will calm us, encourage us, strengthen us and heal us from all of life’s tragedies.
As I unboxed the tree and assembled it yesterday, I was reminded how it was truly a gift from a dear friend eight years ago after the kids and I escaped from the abusive home, but our Christmas decorations were left behind. I remembered her kindness and considered ways that I could bless others less fortunate than me this year.
As I straightened out the branches on the sweet artificial tree, I thought of the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Life and how Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden before they could eat from that tree and live forever miserably and estranged from God our Father.
He made a way for them to be saved, redeemed and nourished as Jesus went to the Cross on that dark day. His wooden Cross somehow, mysteriously and strangely, became our new Tree of Life. And someday when we all get Home to Heaven, there will be another Tree of Life growing on the banks of the pure river of water of life, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
All of this rolling around in my head as I put up our Christmas tree again this year…
Maybe if you’re having Christmas tree trouble, you will consider that this symbol of Christmas can also bring us to the place of worship of Jesus our King. Please consider decorating the tree again this year, if only because of Jesus and His great love for us at the Cross. Regardless of your sadness, your personal pain, your fears and anxiety, tears and regrets, He is worthy of all worship. Forever.