Finding Christ in Christmas (from a Holliday Collection)
Finding Christ in Christmas
It’s time to gather around as I share Finding the Christ in Christmas with all my family and friends. It began deep within the woods many years ago when grandpa took me to help find the perfect Christmas tree. After looking everywhere, grandpa, with a big smile on his face, pointed to the tree saying, “There he is, we found our tree!” I was so excited that I let go of his hand and ran to the biggest tree I had ever seen, and turned to him, “Oh grandpa, its beautiful!” But to my surprise, he told me, “No child, it’s not that tree,” as he stood beside a very small one, “Come and help me dig our tree.” After we got the tree dug grandpa wrapped the dirt around the roots in a cloth and we started for home.
Every year we visited the trees along the back of the yard and he told me their story; the trees were for each one of his grandchildren and when we got to mine he told me; “This tree was little when we brought it here and it represents Jesus that came to the world as a baby and just as we wrapped it roots in cloth His mother wrapped Him and laid Him in a manger.” Every year grandpa added a bit more to the story until one day when grandpa came to deliver our beautiful tree for our family Christmas and told me this was the tree we had dug in the woods years ago and that now it was up to me to share the story with my family.
That night we gathered together to decorate the tree and I began to tell them the special story of how I found Christ in our Christmas tree. So I began to tell our boys why this was such a special tree and how grandpa and I found it years ago in the woods when it was very small.
The evergreen tree represents eternal life for it is unchanging through the seasons, and how God’s word says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NKJV). As the branches fan out their shape looks like angel wings and speak of the angel that proclaimed His birth, “. . . Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12 NKJV).
As the lights were placed around the tree and then checked to make sure all were working as I shared that Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (NKJV). The boy's faces lit up with excitement as they heard the story.
As we began to wrap the garland around the tree I explained that the Bible tells us that God holds us in His arms just like the garland is holding our tree, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you,’ Fear not, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13 NKJV).
When it came time to put the ornaments on the tree we handed each one of the boys a Christmas bulb to hang on the tree and as we continued to decorate I shared with them that the bulbs were a never-ending circle the symbol of eternity and how Jesus shows us the way to have eternal life, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV).
When we were finished the boys looked to their daddy to lift one of them up in his arms to help him put the star on the top, but before I could tell them they both asked, ‘Mommy what does the star mean?’ It’s the Star of Bethlehem that marked the birthplace of Jesus and the Bible tells, “That Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1-2 NKJV). However it wasn’t until Jesus was about two years old before they arrived, as I explained to them, that’s why mommy doesn’t put them in the nativity but in a display of their own.
We all stood back and looked at our beautiful Christ tree but I told the boys we weren’t done yet and handed each one a gift that was to be placed under the tree and asked them separately what the tag said that was on their package. The first one was wrapped all in red with a big gold bow and written on the tag was LOVE, and daddy opened the tag and read, “. . . God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16 NKJV). The next package was wrapped all in white and had a beautiful green bow and our youngest son took it to his daddy ‘Its PEACE’ he said, and then the tag was read, “. . . I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NKJV). Each of the boys was given another package, and again it was taken to their daddy, this one was wrapped in a soft blue and had a deeper shade of blue for the bow and the tag had JOY written on it was, “. . . Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2 NKJV). The last package to be placed under the tree was purple and the bow was made of each color from the other packages and on the tag was written FAITH, and then the tag was read, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).
The boys were looking up at the tree in wonder when our oldest spoke, breaking the silence, saying, “Mom can we keep it after Christmas.” Then our youngest added, “Can we mom, can we please.” I looked down on their sweet faces, so proud at that moment, and explained how our Christ tree would be saved. They listened intently as I told them that after it was taken down all the branches would be removed and at Easter the trunk would be made into a cross in remembrance of Jesus’ death. “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8 NKJV).
So you see in spite of all the distractions around Christmas if your heart is open you can still find Christ in Christmas. Both of the boys wanted to hear the rest of the story, but it was getting late, so they were told we would finish the story at Easter, after all, there is more to the story than bunnies and baskets.