4th Monday of Advent

Christmas Tree

1 Peter 1:10-12

10 The prophets, who long ago foretold the grace that you’ve received, searched and explored, inquiring carefully about this salvation. 11 They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was saying when he bore witness beforehand about the suffering that would happen to Christ and the glory that would follow. They wondered what sort of person or what sort of time they were speaking about. 12 It was revealed to them that in their search they were not serving themselves but you. These things, which even angels long to examine, have now been proclaimed to you by those who brought you the good news. They did this in the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven.

Tobit 12:6

6 Then Raphael spoke to them privately, saying, “Praise God and tell all living beings about the good things he has done for you, praising and singing to his name. Make God’s words known in an honorable way to everyone, and don’t fail to acknowledge him.


The Christmas tree is now one of the most universal symbols of Christmas; but few people know why they put a tree in their living room, other than it looks pretty covered in lights and adds a nice aroma to the house.  Tradition states that Christmas trees were first used in connection with St. Boniface.  During his missionary work in Germany, the saint cut down a sacred oak tree in defiance of the pagan gods.  After this action, he reportedly used a pine tree to explain Christianity to the villagers.  At the very least, Boniface talked of the evergreen nature of the tree and how it represented the eternal nature of God.  Other traditions added other significance to the tree.  Some talk of the triangular shape of the tree reflecting the triune nature of God, having three different points but being one.  There is also a tradition that the branches of the Christmas tree formed a cross, representing Christ’s death.  The pine tree became a symbol for God and was used at Christmas time, and later decorated to pay tribute to God.  People would use nuts, apples, and other foods as decorations to remind them of from whom these things came.  Martin Luther is credited with affixing candles to the tree to symbolize the night sky on the night of Christ’s birth. For most families decorating a Christmas tree has a personal touch, featuring ornaments made by the children, or collected for significant milestones.  This is a good thing and can represent the fact that these are gifts from God symbolized in the tree.  What a shame that some use professional decorators for their tree, so it will be a stylish focal point.  The Christmas tree should reflect a family’s relationship to each other and to God.  After all, if the tree does not reflect God, how can we expect to find presents under it?  Since all of the gifts of Christmas come from God.Triune God, help me to recognize that my blessings in life come from you, and may I be quick to put my family into your hands, in Christ I pray.  Amen.

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