Left over. Rejected. Unchosen. Some trees at the grocery store parking lot will not be adorned or adored; they will simply stand at a tilt in the quiet lot on Christmas morning. What makes some trees significant and other meaningless? A tree is just a tree, unless we make it something more.
This time of year there’s little shortage of lights, trees, and glittery things. To be “significant” something has to be important or have meaning. Those who celebrate the birth of Jesus during this season may find themselves asking if what they do to deck the halls can be significant. Anyone can hang a string of lights, trim a tree, or bring in the bling, but can these things be significant in this season?
Lights … December 25th was set aside for celebrating the Feast of the Unconquered Sun during the Roman period, and others have worshiped the light of our solar system throughout history. Light has long been significant to men for various reasons; people make light significant because of the meaning we attach to it.
We know the glory of the Lord shone around the heavenly host announcing the arrival of the Baby King. A beacon star led magi to worship the Light of the World. Light is a beautiful part of the story of our redemption, and it deserves a “spotlight” in celebrating the coming of the Light into the darkness.
Trees … Trees have been spiritually significant to mankind, including Hindus, Buddhists, and Druids, but why is a tree significant to a follower of Jesus? Do we need a tree in our celebration? After all, the tree itself is not our salvation. Is it significant?
Matthew 1:1-17 tells us of the family tree that grew with divine intention to prepare the way for the rightful King of Kings. Some people refer to this as the Jesse Tree. Jesse’s descendant, Jesus, grew to be the One who gave His life for His kingdom, offering Himself on an unforgiving tree a cross shape. The coming of the Heavenly King to the lowly earth gives us the gift of one day enjoying the Tree of Life. A tree is a beautiful part of the telling of our story.
Glittery Things …We need look no further than our own culture to see that mankind has always been enamored by things that glitter. Reports this holiday season say luxury jewelery sales have increased by almost 3% … even in a bad economy. People love things that sparkle and shine. Satan has always capitalized on this weakness of ours, tempting us with the lust of our eyes. Does it mean all that glitters is essentially rotten?
Scripture describes heaven and its hosts as beautiful, and a glittering home awaits those who follow the Babe in the manger. Gold was presented to the small Jesus, because it’s a worthy of a King.
We can be surrounded by lights, trees, and glittery things that have no significance. Just as any girl can wear a white dress in a wedding, only a bride with a pure heart gives her wedding dress its significance. The decking of the halls? If we just do what everyone else does, our decor won’t mean anything more than that around us. Anyone can be common; anyone can decorate for Christmas, but if done thoughtfully, it can reflect the significance of our Jesus’ birth.
God created lights and trees and glittery things. Let’s not be common. Let’s use what He’s made and talk about them and enjoy them in honor of their Creator and our King Jesus! One day even the kings of earth will bring their precious things to honor Jesus in the Holy Jerusalem. The glory of God will illuminate it in a way our small lights now can only suggest.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
As we celebrate the coming of Jesus this Christmas, let’s use the lights, trees, and glittery things to celebrate the Babe that came and what is still to come!