A couple weeks ago my nephew helped me decorate my Christmas tree. For the last two years, he’s helped me with this task on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s becoming our tradition. Have you ever wondered why we bring trees into our houses for Christmas?
Why do I have a little three-foot, artificial pine tree sitting on my end table, decked in ribbon and glittering balls (and a few mis-matched ornaments)? How did we get from the birth of Jesus to Christmas trees in our living rooms? There are many legends and traditions about the trees from many different cultures. If you want to learn about those traditions, you can research them.
But more personally, how does my Christmas tree point to Jesus? Why do you decorate a Christmas tree?
If you follow the swirl of red ribbon to the top of my tree, you’ll find a glittering gold star. In Matthew’s narrative of the nativity, magi looked up and saw a star, too. They followed the star in order to find and worship Jesus. The star led them to a Baby and they rejoiced. (see Matthew 2:1-11)
Growing up, our family Christmas tree wasn’t topped with a star, but rather with a white, crocheted angel. Remember Baby Jesus’ other visitors? Shepherds, who looked up and saw an angel. The angel told them of the Savior’s birth that day. And they followed the angel’s words and found the Baby who changed the course of history. (see Luke 2:8-20)
Our traditional tree toppers remind us of key pieces of the Nativity story: what God used to point people to Jesus. As you see evergreens crowned with a star or angel this Christmas, remember Who they point to. With the magi and the shepherds, will you worship the Savior, who is Christ the Lord?