The Christmas Tree

From Rev. Solomon Keal, BACS Pastor
December 11, 2018

The Christmas tree began to be used in Medieval and Renaissance times in Europe. Though its use had some connection to pagan rituals, it has some wonderful connection to Christian symbolism as well. Many people decorate their Christmas trees with a star or an angel at the top. These symbolize the star of Bethlehem from the Christmas story in Matthew, and the angel from the Christmas story in Luke. The Christmas tree is also seen as a symbol for the Tree of Life, as it is described in the Holy City New Jerusalem in Revelation:

“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations…. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:2, 14)

An evergreen tree was thought to be a good symbol for the Tree of Life, whose leaves would always be green (see Jeremiah 17:8; Ezekiel 47:12). Christmas trees used to be decorated with different kinds of fruits, such as were on the Tree of Life, which today have been replaced by different colored ball-shaped ornaments. Christmas trees are often decorated with lights because, as it says in the Christmas story in John: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of all people. And the light shines in the darkness.” (John 1:4-5).

The Writings tell us that “the tree of life symbolizes the Lord in respect to His Divine love.” (Apocalypse Revealed 951) The Christmas story is a picture of the Lord’s love being born into our lives in this world. And so the Christmas trees that are often the focal point of the Christmas decorations in our homes, can be a wonderful reminder of the presence of the Lord’s love, life, and light at Christmas time. Merry Christmas everyone!

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