It’s hard to believe that we are already approaching Christmas day. Everything seems to be happening so quickly that our minds and hearts at times can get misaligned. With everything at such a fast pace I invite you to just slow down for a moment.
We went a little earlier than normal this year to pick out a Christmas tree. We wanted to make sure that we got one that was nice and full. So we went and picked out the best tree that we could possibly find, loaded it up, and brought it to the house. We made the necessary cuts, and placed it in the stand. My wife is very creative and particular on how the tree is decorated, so needless to say she handles all the decorating.
Looking at the tree I now understand that the tree without the lights and ornaments is just another tree; it just doesn’t have the same appeal. But, when I look and I see the light that glimmers in the dark, it's not so overwhelming or so bright that you can't look at it, but soft enough and beautiful enough you almost can't look away. It is the perfect lighting to illuminate the gifts.
Three ornaments stick out to me when I look at the tree. One is the word Faith, one is the word Hope, and the other is the word Peace. These are words of encouragement this time of year. Then of course there are Christmas ribbons and the star to top it off, which makes the tree such a pleasant sight to behold.
The Christmas tree takes my mind back to one of the most beautiful trees of all time; it was adorned with the beautiful ornament of grace. God knew beforehand that we were in need of a Savior so in His creation He created the tree. Not just any tree, it would be a tree carefully picked and uniquely preserved for the occasion. But just like the Christmas tree sitting in the corner of our homes; without the ornaments it's just another tree.
The word ornament is defined as- making something more attractive. This is why my mind continues to look back to Calvary. Not only was the cross (tree) placed there, but God allowed His beloved Son to be placed on the tree. His Son was the light of the world. A light not so overwhelming that you couldn't look at it, but rather so pleasant that when you get a glimpse of it, it is very difficult to look away. A light that would be enough to illuminate the gift of grace and the gift of salvation. In fact, it is of such beauty, like the Christmas trees in our homes it is impossible for it to go unnoticed.
He would not only be the light of the world, but also the author of our faith, our hope, and our peace. We can see the posted pictures of some very beautifully decorated trees, but the most beautiful of all will always be the tree that God Himself would decorate with the gift of salvation.
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Pastor Todd McClain