Meditations by John Dean

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Christmas Tree

(Psalm 96:8 KJV)  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

Even though all Christians enjoy celebrating Christ’s birth some have a real problem in celebrating the traditions of Christmas and putting up a Christmas tree.

I do not disagree with the fact that the origin of the Christmas tree is pagan and existed long before Christianity. However, I do disagree with the fact that I am practicing paganism by setting aside this time of the year to celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord by sharing His love with others through gifts.

As far as the Christmas tree is concerned, if the pagans can take something good and turn it into something bad then I can take something bad and turn it into something good. That is exactly what the Lord did when He saved my wretched soul.

There are many practices today even in our church services that seem to have a dark side to them. For example, I was in a worship service Sunday where all the lights were off in the auditorium except for the rapid-flashing colored lights on the praise band. I eventually had to sit down and cover my eyes because the flashing lights were giving me a headache and making me sick.

One may ask the question, “What is the origin of that?” No one could possibly agree that the origin of flashing lights were a reflection of any kind of heavenly praise. Even though one may question the origin of the flashing lights…one can never question the purity of the hearts of those who were singing and playing their instruments under those flashing lights.

Perhaps that is the way we should look at Christmas and the Christmas tree. Are our hearts pure in this time of celebration and are we really setting aside this season for a time of ‘peace on earth’ and “giving unto the Lord glory that is due His name”?
I really enjoy seeing families work together as they put up their Christmas tree while singing White Christmas, Jingle Bells and Silent Night. 

I remember back in the old days when we would go out and cut down a holly tree for our Christmas tree. The holly trees were always so pretty with their beautifully shaped leaves. They may not be as shapely as our trees are today but for some reason they seemed more appropriate and less commercial.

Everyone joined together in making the decorations for our little Christmas tree. Some would take a needle and string popcorn together making it into long white strands of decorative material. Another would make a paper chain by gluing the ends of little pieces of paper and hooking them together. Our tree was decorated with all kinds of handmaid things such as an angel cut-out and other simple things.

Our little holly tree sort of reminds me of the baby Jesus lying in a manger in a simple barn. The barn (like our holly tree) was not the issue…the Savior of the world who was lying in the manger in the barn was the issue. He is the one we celebrate by giving all the glory to Him.

Even though there are so many opinions and things that could separate us from our brother, I pray You will draw us together in this season through Your wonderful love. I also pray that this season is truly a season of peace on earth as we “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name and as we bring an offering and come into His courts”. I pray that offering will be that we “Love one another”. 1 John 4:7

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