Sunday, October 10, 2010

Christmas Trees

This is the 2nd of my 12 Weeks of Christmas Inspirational Post which I hope to make an annual feature of my regular, weekly Inspirational Sunday Posts.  This may seem to be an odd choice for a card to be featured in my Inspirational Sunday Post.  But trees trimmed with lights and ornaments are one of the many wonders of Christmas and are, at their heart, a spiritual symbol.  Christmas trees are, most often, fir or pine trees-evergreens.  The evergreen tree speaks of the eternal nature of Christ Jesus, the birthday child of Christmas.  The lights on the tree speak again of Christ Jesus, the Light of the World.  Even the ornaments, the added beauty, speak of Christ bringing beauty to the life of all those who trust in Him.

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. "I am the light of the world," he said. "Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness."
(Joh 8:12 GNB)

It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.  This became popular in Germany by the 16th century and caught on as a tradition when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.  Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if trees were scarce.

Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania.  They had community trees as early as 1747. Today, the Christmas tree is one of the most recognizable symbols of Christmas.

The card above, featuring the raccoons of the Merry Crittermas stamp set from the Holiday Mini Catalog, perfectly captures one of the great joys of Christmas:  trimming a tree.  I urge you to trim a tree this year during the holiday season.  If you are single or in a small space, trim a small tree.  If you are able-bodied and know someone without the ability to put up a tree and trim it, give of yourself and take a small, trimmed tree to them.  Whatever your circumstances, put up a tree and decorate it!  And help others have a tree.  Whether artificial or real, small or large, simple or opulent, humble or snazzy, a Christmas tree carries the message of the Light of Christ, the eternal Son of God, the hope and help for all mankind.  Let its message speak to you, again and again, this Christmas season.

No comments:

Post a Comment