Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)
I have to put up a Christmas tree. Not for the commercial reasons that you think, but for what I see when I look at it. You see, to me the tree represents Christ.
We choose a tree because Christ was nailed to a tree; we remember He died for us. The trunk is Christ; we of course are the branches. The tree needs water, just as we do when we are baptized. We place a star on the top, to represent the star that led the wise men and the shepherds to kneel at His feet. The lights signify the light of world, Jesus. The red balls represent His blood that was shed. Each special ornament reminds us of how special we are to Him, of His attention to detail used in creating our lives. The gold garland is representative of the richness in our Father's house that trims our life with riches and blessings. The presents beneath the tree are the gifts that we give to each other. Not a sweater or a pair of slippers, but the gifts of love, patience, support, understanding, forgiveness, peace. We give these to each other, just as the wise men gave Him gifts, because we are to love each other as He loves us. We put them under the tree, at the foot of the cross.
So, I place this lovely reminder of our Lord in my home, and at night I sit in front of its light and take in the glory of it.
end a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten
friend. Dismiss suspicion,
and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some
treasure. Give a soft answer. En-
courage youth. Manifest your loyalty
in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the
time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy.
Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to
understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on
others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind;
be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence.
Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your
gratitude. Meditate for peace. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart
of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak
your love. Speak
it again. Speak
Prayer: Help us, O God, in our preparations, to point to Christ, who is the light of the world. In Jesus' name. Amen.