I LOVE Christmas! I am not a very exuberant person by nature, not naturally just happy and light-hearted, but give me a vision and some understanding and I come alive. My Holy-Holiday-Calling is to remember and release a spirit of rejoicing in myself and in others as we make Jesus Christ and worshipping Him central to our raucous Christmas celebrating!
In our 1860s Victorian house in Nebraska, we had 9 fully-decorated trees. I have never run out of ideas for decorating a tree, each in a unique and personal way. Now, though, we’re down to two. One is the collections of our lives (the tree of my sentimental heart) – the ornaments the kids made at school growing up, “baby’s first” ornaments and now treasures from the grandchildren.
But the main tree,too tall and big enough to fill too many totes with it’s ornamentations, is the tree of my faith. The centerpiece in the branches reads: For unto you is born this day (with the print of a baby’s foot to represent Jesus’ birth), A Savior, who is Christ the Lord(a bloody hand-print reminds us that He was born to die for us)!
From the 12 foot peak flows down wide, red swaths of blood-red satin to represent His sacrifice for me. The tree, evergreen representing everlasting life, is decorated with crosses and the angelic hosts. It is decorated with symbols and words of all Christ came to accomplish. It is, for me, an altar of worship. I raise it yearly to remember and celebrate the completed work of Jesus Christ in my life. My tree is a symbol of a broken curse.
There was another tree. It was stripped bare of it’s branches, save one, which was affixed across the trunk up high. And that tree is part of our celebration, even now during Christmas, and symbolizes everything that happened there bringing us eternal life.
At the foot of our Christmas tree, we lovingly exchange gifts. Our tree is laden with sparkling ornaments, twinkling lights, and bedecked with glittering beauty. And why?
Because it was on a tree that God hung His greatest gift to us all and He calls us to that tree to receive the greatest of all gifts – His son, Jesus. Galatians 3.13 reminds us that on that tree, Jesus redeemed us from the curse. It holds nothing on us. We are free and redeemed from the law of sin and death and we commemorate Christmas with joy with our ornamented tree – celebrating His love toward us which flows out as we gift one another.
I’ll kneel at the tree within the next couple of days, my altar of remembrance and pray:
Father, I am kneeling at this tree thanking You that at that tree You broke the curse for me. I am open, during this Christmas season, Lord, to receive Your deliverance for anything that haunts or taunts me. Set me free from the things that have entangled my life. I remember, today. In the light from this tree, I receive Your gift from that tree…
His coming wasn’t random. It was planned. Remember to remember…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Make funny faces in the round glass ornaments. Crack God up.
pictured: a close-up view of the message of our tree; some up-shots