From Tree to Tree

Monday, December 23, 2013


Jamie and I have been married for over 10 years. We've collected our fair share of Christmas d├ęcor. Of all of it, my Christmas Tree is by far my favorite. Its not fancy and in fact its the same fake tree we bought 10 year ago. (getting thinner each year) Our first Christmas together, Jamie started a tradition of purchasing me an annual Precious Moments ornament. On my tree are all 11. I love them. He started the same thing with our kids for their first Christmas's. Brewer has 5 and Eva has 3. There are ornaments from my great grandmother's tree. There are ornaments from Romania and South Africa. My first Christmas ornament from 1978 and several from my childhood. We've got West Virginia Mountaineers. We've got both of my kids first Christmas, from our honeymoon, handmade from the kids, & special gifts from friends ... to say the least, our Christmas Tree is not just a tree, it's filled with memories. Every branch has a story. My kids love looking for their ornaments and love hearing the stories of where each one came from. The best part to me is how I get to weave our story into the story of Jesus. It all comes back to Him.

Did you know that this life we are living, its not about us? We are all playing a role in His story. His story began with creation. God spoke and we were. Adam and Eve lived in harmony with God and with all of creation, until sin was introduced into this world. When Adam and Eva both ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they didn't become like God as Satan had promised, they became sinful. That very sin is what broke the harmony. You can read in Genesis all about creation and the first sin and how from the very beginning, God had a plan to restore and redeem.

 Jesus.


Throughout this story its always been about Him. He was promised. There was a time when the Israelites waited for Him. They had been told He was coming by the prophets and all they had was hope. And they waited. Not always patently, not always productively, but they waited and they hoped.

                   OT Prophecy                     NT Fulfillment
                   Genesis 3:15                      Romans 5:6-8; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 2:13-15
                   Isaiah 9:2                           Matthew 4:12-17; John 1:4-5, 12:46
                   Isaiah 53:10-11                  Romans 5:1-2
                   Isaiah 53:4                         Matthew 8:14-17
                   Isaiah 61:1-4                      Luke 4:16-21

Then one night, in the small town of Bethlehem, a virgin girl gave birth. The Angels broke through the night sky to harold His arrival to some shepherds on a hill, announcing that this child was a gift for all people. What they had waited for and longed for and hoped for was here. But many did not see and many did not understand. They thought He would come as a valiant King who would wage war and win and restore. But that's not what happened. Yet. First He had to come to live and teach and make confusing things more clear, and to die. He was buried and rose back to life three days later, defeating death. His death and resurrection was the way to restoration. As we read in John 3, Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it, anyone who believes will get this free gift of salvation.

But this gift, its just that, a gift and you have the right to refuse it. This right is called free will. Because our God, who loves you so much, will not force Himself on you. He calls you gently to Himself. He provides and protects and longs to be with you. But its your choice to accept or reject.

We are all playing a role in His story. The story of creation and the fall and hoping and longing and wondering ... He's made a way for you. A way for you to know and understand your role here. He's gifted you with talent and ability to be an active part of His story. He loves you and longs for you to love Him too.


So as we celebrate Christmas each year, I don't just see one tree, I see two. I can't see Christmas without the cross. It's why He came, for you and for me, to give us life more abundant and full. He came to save us from the wrath of sin. Not to destroy but to redeem.

Where ever you are on your journey here on earth, I wish the the very Merriest of Christmases!

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