The Real Christmas Tree

When we were kids, we always got our Christmas tree the last day of school before Christmas. We put the tree up on Christmas Eve and left it up until New Year’s Day.

After I had my own home, I couldn’t get in the mood to decorate until Christmas Eve and I usually left my tree up until long after New Year’s Day. One year I even thought about turning my tree into a Valentine tree, a St Patrick’s tree, and an Easter tree, maybe even a 4th of July tree.

It doesn’t seem like Christmas without a tree, decorated with cute little ornaments my children made when they were small, and little ornaments we had when I was a child. There aren’t many of those left now, but I love them.
Of course I love a real cedar Christmas tree. I used to buy a real tree from the fire station every year. I love the smell of a Christmas tree, but an artificial tree is so much easier.

Within the Christmas story is the story of the real Christmas tree, the cross. God became flesh, born of the virgin Mary as the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ. That’s the beginning of the story that continues with Jesus Christ on the tree, the cross of Calvary, giving Himself completely for the whole world. He died and was buried, but then rose again from the dead as our Savior, seated at the right hand of God, crowned as the King of kings.

“Because Christ also suffered for us,…. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness.” I Peter 2:21-24 New King James Version.

From the words of the old hymn, The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard, (1873-1958.) “So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.”

From the cross, a true Christmas tree, to a crown.

His Name Is Wonderful

            His name is Healing. I touched a feverish brow and spoke His name. By morning the fever was gone. We spoke His name over a 2-year-old girl with leukemia and she has now been in remission several years.
            His name is Salvation. Billions have spoken that name and become residents of  a new country, Heaven. Just like aliens who stand in a courtroom and pledge allegiance to the United States of America and forever change their homeland, so we stand in the courtroom of God Almighty, swear allegiance to Jesus Christ, and we are forever changed.
            His name is Deliverance. Just the mention of His name brings demons to their knees. A woman tormented by depression and thoughts of suicide now leads a Christian women’s group, set free forever by the name of Jesus from those powers of darkness.
            His name is Peace. A person facing surgery speaks the name of Jesus in prayer and calmly lies down without any dread.
            His name is Comfort. Standing over the grave of a dear loved one, we speak the name of Jesus and comfort floods our soul. He said He would never leave us or forsake us, that He would go with us to the end of the world.
            His name is Abundance. As we break our bread in Jesus’ name and serve it to the hungry world, we know that it will never run out. We give our love-gift to the Lord with cheerfulness, knowing that what is left over will always be enough to meet all our needs. We give to the poor, knowing that from the Lord we will receive our reward. We open our hearts and our purses to the needs of the people knowing that Jesus also opens His windows of heaven to pour out a blessing on us that we cannot contain. He is the Lord of plenty, who always supplies our needs according to His riches in glory, not according to the economy of this world.

            His Name is Wonderful.           

            Isaiah 9:6 NKJV, “And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.