I am watching “The Sound of Music”, a personal tradition with me at Christmas time, and feeling a little sentimental… as the beautiful music is playing and my Christmas tree lights are blinking I feel the same emotion I feel watching the tree lighting ceremony from Times Square or I listen to the old Christmas carols such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, or “Joy to the world, the Lord has come”. The tears rise up in my chest and in that moment I feel the same pride in being a Christian that I do at being an American when Old Glory is raised to fly high in the sky.
I hear people complain that merchants put up the Christmas decorations earlier every year, and to that I say, “So what?” Every day the Christmas tree stands is a day we are proclaiming to the world that we still celebrate the BIRTH of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! OK, I realize that merchants are only trying to get gift giving on everyone’s mind so their merchandise moves out faster, again I say, So WHAT?
John 12:32 Jesus said: “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” The KJV says: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” Jesus was telling them how He would die, lifted up, crucified on a tree, this would draw all men to Him. Granted, it wasn’t a sweeping pine with its branches decorated with lights, but a cross made from the wood of a tree, but that old rugged cross had on it the brightest Light the world would ever see, Jesus Christ!
John 8:12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”
In this household, several years ago, it had been a year with a lot of trouble surrounding us which caused us much angst. I needed something to raise my spirits, so when it came time to get our tree I went out and bought a great big 9-foot tall tree and decorated it to the hilt! When the New Year’s Day Rose Parade started, my usual time to think about undressing the tree, I simply could not do it. I decided to leave it up a few extra days.
That few extra days turned into still standing there as Valentine’s Day approached so I decorated it with red hearts and flowers and little pieces of candy. Easter was coming early that year, we decorated it with brightly colored Easter eggs, crosses, symbols of the resurrection, following that it was decorated with Spring and Summer flowers.
The tree stood there in its place until late September. Were we honoring the tree? Did the tree have any special significance?
No, to me it stands as a sign that Jesus came into the world and, if we would only allow Him to, He would bring us joy and peace. Luke 2:2-14 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Don’t fret over the commercialization of Christmas, whether the world realizes it or not, they are helping us celebrate the Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ! He is the brightest light we will ever know; I say, “Shine on O Lord, our Lord!”
Merry Christmas blessings!