I know you’re there. I pass by you every time I come home, and I promise I’ll get to you soon. Things have just been busy.
This year, for the first time ever, I’ve actually wondered why I put myself through all of this extra work during an already busy time of year. What’s the point? We put you up. You stick around for a few weeks (except for 2009 when it was practically March before I took you down), and then you go back in a box until we start this craziness over.
I did a little bit of research about you, and I was surprised. You’re really not a Christian symbol at all. A sign of life, fertility and something about the gods, you have quite a sordid past. But we’ve made you into a symbol of eternal life as you point to God and offer us a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world.
You’re one of many traditions we’ve embraced. I don’t think about decorating your branches as a tradition. It’s just been what I do. We always put a tree up, decorate the house, buy presents and sing carols. But none of that stuff is required for Christmas. The word Christmas is distinctly Christian, by the way. The word “Christ” is in it for a reason. And Christmas is solely to recognize that Jesus came, that God became a man and entered our world as a baby.
I wonder if we will one day have another kind of Christmas. One where we celebrate that Jesus came again into our world and every knee bowed and every tongue confessed him as Lord. Perhaps then we will find a tree and decorate it with diamonds, rubies, pearls, and sapphires and put a real star at the top.
So I will get around to fluffing your branches, hanging some lights, and gracing you with ornaments soon. I promise. You do remind me of the wonder of God. The mystery of eternal life, and the mystery of how God takes the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; how he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one can boast before him. (I Corinthians 1:27-29)