2020 has been a contentious year. While we continue to weather the storms of this weary year, who wants to join me in celebrating what is good, faithful and brings joy to our hearts?
Go ahead and put up a Christmas tree!
Even though Thanksgiving is in a couple weeks, go ahead and put it up for the Christmas tree is a reminder of unconditional love. It’s a visual of God that He is with us. He is in control.
When God sent His Son to earth, you would think He would send Jesus in glory and splendor, for the world to see, like the Super Bowl. Instead, He sent His beloved Son to a muddy cave with cow dung. From that moment on, God used Him to show the world what unconditional love looks like. He gave His life so we can enjoy the greatest joy ever! His death broke the barrier that keeps us separated from God, so we can obtain eternal life.
To be reminded of this wonderful love story between God and His creation, put up a tree to celebrate with a grateful heart, Thanksgiving (for those of us living in the United States), as well as Christmas. We won’t let 2020 end on a sour note. Let’s focus on what is good.
Christ died on a tree. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross (a tree) so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds we are healed.” May trees take on a whole new meaning.
Christ came to be the light of the world, thus we string lights on the tree. John 8:12 speaks of this, “I am the light of the world,” Jesus tells people, “If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” I love colored-lights because Christ came to die for all people from every culture around the world. I currently have white lights for His love is pure.
Christ shed His blood for us, for we are sinners. I wrap red garland around my tree to represent this. Matthew 26:27-28 says, “And Jesus took the cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, ‘Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people.'” Ephesians 1:7 says that God purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
I have an angel watching over us on the top of my tree. Some people put a bright star. Shepherds and wise men followed a star to where Jesus resided. You can read about it in Matthew 2. We have angels protecting us. Psalm 91:11 says, “For God will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.”
We hang ornaments on the tree. For me, they represent my life. They remind me of my past and how God has walked faithfully with me.
We place gifts under the tree. We share in the love that first rained down upon us from God. God gave His Son. We are to reciprocate this love back by loving others. But first, we are to love God before anything or anyone else. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “What does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear Him and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul.”
While God’s Presence within me brings me joy as He leads me throughout the whole year, there is something extra special during this holiday season of thankfulness and true love. The Christmas tree is a visual from God that He is with me. It reminds me of how faithful He is and that I have great hope in tomorrow.
If you don’t have access to a tree, get creative. Decorate a plant or string lights in a shape of a tree on a wall. Think about Charlie Brown’s tree. It needed a lot of TLC, but when everyone gathered around it, it became a sight of beauty.
So, while we make our way through the rest of this tumultuous year, let’s end it with joy and hope knowing that God is with us. We are not alone.