Thursday, December 8, 2011

What the Christmas Tree means to me....

Even though Christmas trees have their roots in pagan traditions, bringing an aspect of God's creation into the house has always been special to me. As a child, my family would go out the day after Thanksgiving and chop down a real evergreen tree. The pungent pine aroma and the prickle of needles floods my mind as I remember hanging homemade ornaments on the boughs.

Today, we've substituted the real evergreen tree for a fake tree, mostly due to practically. One, there aren't any tree farms in our area and the mold count drastically rises when you bring a live tree in the house. But, regardless of it's everlasting quality, the tree still reminds me of some significant aspects of our God.

While winter overwhelms the other trees, stripping them of their leaves and beauty, the pine tree stays green through the most brutal weather. We know that despite the harsh reality of this world, God's hope and presence is ever with us. He won't leave us alone.

Here is one version of Martin Luther's story.
Two slight variations of another story tell how Martin Luther was returning home after a sixteenth century Christmas Eve service. One version tells how he was so overcome with the beauty of starlight glistening in the icicles like diamonds hanging from an evergreen tree that he cut down a small tree and took it home

It's believed that Luther decorated the tiny tree with candles because it reminded him that Jesus was the light of the world. The second version differs slightly, in as much as Martin Luther was overcome at the sight of thousands of stars twinkling through the foliage of the evergreens.

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