CHRISTMAS IS COMING...
Some Christians strongly believe that Christmas trees have their origin in paganism, and therefore should have no place in the Christian home. While respecting this opinion, I personally have no issue with their use, and give my perspective on this question in ‘Let the Trees Rejoice’ (see below for details). However, as I commented in the last post, whatever is not of faith is sin [Romans 1:17, 14:23]. Therefore, if we are going to have Christmas trees, we need to have faith-filled ones!
Trees feature in a number of places in the Bible – and often to make a significant point. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil has a hugely important role in the Garden of Eden, along with the Tree of Life, which also figures in the Book of Revelations; and of course The Cross was the most important ‘tree’ in the history of the ages. Our Christmas trees can be powerful tools to help us reflect on some of these images….
Excerpt from ‘Let the Trees Rejoice!’
[Genesis 2:8-9; 15-17; Genesis 3]
The Lord wanted mankind to live in partnership with Him, to draw from Him all that was needed moment by moment. Adam and Eve had to choose whether to live like this, in a deep relationship of trust with God, or whether to choose independence and the ‘freedom’ to make their own decisions. Tragically they believed the serpent’s lies, and not only became dislocated from the Lord, but from their own identity and purpose. The essence of that deception was that God is not good, and that He was withholding good from them. They were enticed by the claim that if they chose independence, they would become ‘like God’; tragically they didn’t realise that that was already part of the plan....!
The Tree of Knowledge reminds us that the foundation for our faith, and our lives, is the belief that God is good all the time, that He is good to me personally, and that He does not withhold good from me.
Often we believe generally in the goodness of God – because the Bible tells us He is, but we have doubts about His goodness in our personal experience. Sometimes that is because there has been a tendency to ascribe everything evil to God’s discipline, rather than to the fact that we live in a fallen world. If we want to know what God thinks about any situation, we need to look at Jesus, who was the exact representation of the Father [Hebrews 1:3]. So what did Jesus think about sickness, hunger or distress? What was His reaction to infirmity, sin or disgrace – or any of the other situations which we might face....?
Let’s start to search the Scriptures for examples of the Lord’s goodness, and review and remember our own experiences of His good interventions. King David was in the habit of declaring the Lord’s covenant love every morning, and His faithfulness at night [Psalm 92:2]; it’s a good practice to follow. We also need to ask the Father to reveal those areas of our lives where we doubt His goodness, or where we harbour suspicion that He is withholding good from us. Then we need to ask for His help in renewing our minds.
As well as focusing reflection on the Tree of Knowledge, our Christmas trees can also stimulate meditation on The Tree of Life and The Cross......
Read more in‘Let the Trees Rejoice!’
‘Let the Trees Rejoice!’ is available on Amazon Kindle, by clicking left. However, if you don’t have a Kindle, a free viewer can be downloaded from Amazon which will allow the book to be read on any digital device.
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[**Photo credit: Aaron Burden @ Unsplash, with thanks]