Christmas is when we remember Jesus's birth to give mankind gift of eternal life. Lovely, decorative Christmas trees have adorned houses for centuries. As Christmas is near, artificial or real coniferous Christmas trees are kept in houses, adorned with ornaments, lights!
We've all spent so many years decorating trees. However, do we know what is the meaning of a Christmas tree? There is a lot of controversy of Christmas, and whether putting up a Christmas tree is pagan or not? As Christians, when there is a debate, we turn to the Bible and confirmation. So what does the Bible say regarding Christmas and the trees?
Meaning of Christmas Tree in Christmas
Well, there is no mention of Christmas or Christmas trees in the Bible. Not once does the Bible mention that the disciples and early church celebrated Christmas after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Same goes for Easter!
So we see that Christmas itself is not biblical. Moreover, several evidences point to the fact that Christ was not born in December, let alone December 25th. However, several people are of the school of thought that they need a day to celebrate Christ's birthday and if it's the 25th of December, then so be it.
Moreover, they also believe, it's a good way not only to remember that Christ came into the world to save, but also to evangelize. Christmastime is a time when the focus of non-Christians turns to Christians. They are inquisitive about the festival, the preparations and the meaning behind the festival.
So, it's a good time to share what Christianity is all about and the gospel to those around using nativity plays, carols, Christmas programs, distribute tracts, Bibles, etc. When else would people so willingly listen to what you say? So, if there is no mention of Christmas trees in the Bible, how did the tradition of placing one during Christmas come about?
If we trace back, trees were used by Egyptians and Romans in ancient times for tree worship. But, just because the pagans worshiped trees, do we have to feel guilty when placing Christmas trees in our houses? Are we acting like pagans by putting up Christmas trees in our houses? Are we not rooted in Christ if we put up Christmas trees?
Over the centuries people have idolized almost everything. People have worshiped money, career, jobs, status, fame, beauty, houses, cars, jewelry, cell phones, electronic gadgets, family, spouse, church and the list goes on and on.
Just because some people idolized money, do believers not have anything to do with money at all? No, we all know we have to work hard and earn money for a living, to buy food, clothing and shelter. Just because people idolize and worship houses, cars, good jobs, do we keep ourselves from buying a house, a car or doing well at workplaces. No! Absolutely not!
Some again argue that they purchase simpler houses, cars, etc. to prove they are not acting lustfully. However, what may seem a simple lifestyle to you, may be a luxurious one as compared to somebody who is of a lower financial background. So who is right and who is wrong?
Do you purchase a small place to prove you are not attached to material things. Some folks abstain from wearing jewelry or watching movies to prove they are not interested in what the world has to offer. But their actions talk otherwise and do not showcase Christ in any manner. So even if you physically abstain from something, your heart can be still dark.
It is the attitude of the heart that matters. You've purchased a new car - It's good to be happy about what you've bought. God wants you to be comfortable and happy. However, are you idolizing it?
Has it become more important to you than Jesus? Sometimes we think, "Oh I don't own a Mercedes, so I am not lusting after a car". However, so many of us can even idolize a small car. One can even idolize something as small as a pen. Check your own heart to understand where you stand.
When you come across such situations remember what Jesus said in Mathew 15:11, "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." From this one can incur that what lies within the heart is more important than following or not following traditions.
Your doing or not doing something to show others you are holy and superior is only a hypocritical attitude. If we extend this to our Christmas tree scenario, it is more important to double check your attitude and motive. Does Christmas only mean trees, decorations, feast, new clothes, gifts, etc?
Your heart and mind should be Christ-centered all throughout the year, let alone Christmastime. Moreover, at Christmas we must not allow Christmas trees and the other festivities to rob us of our focus. The pagans worshiped the tree, however, we don't worship the tree.
It's purely gives information of decoration. It gives a festive appeal to the house. In fact, Christmas trees attract non-Christians, because it's something unique and different. As long as our focus has not shifted from Christ to Christmas preparations, it's absolutely fine to enjoy ourselves.
Redeemed Meaning of Christmas Tree
Christmas tree as such has no meaning. It's purely a decorative piece. However, several people have redeemed the meaning of the Christmas tree.
Often non-Christians come and ask you for the significance of the Christmas tree. It's silly to lose an opportunity to share the gospel by saying it has no significance.
This redeemed meaning will at least give you an opportunity to share the gospel, which otherwise the person wouldn't get to hear. We are not saying the meaning is Biblical. Just take it as a parable used to share the gospel.
Evergreen coniferous trees stand for the ever-burning fire of life.
The evergreen attribute signifies man's everlasting hope in Christ, which has been given to mankind by Christ's sacrifice, death and resurrection, to those who believe in Him. The triangular shape is believed to symbolize the holy trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God promised the World a Savior, who would come and set humanity free. The star on the tree represents God's fulfillment of the promise He made ages ago, through all the prophets.
It also represents the shining hope of mankind that first shone in Bethlehem, leading the wise men to baby Jesus.
Candles or lighting on the tree stands for Jesus Christ who died at Calvary on the cross, for the salvation of mankind. He came as light and hope into a dark and doomed world. He came to bind up broken hearts and free those in bondage.
Candy canes represent the shepherd's crook, which helps the shepherd gather his lost and strayed sheep. Our Heavenly Father is our shepherd who eagerly waits for His sheep to turn back to Him.
The candy cane can also be turned upside down, wherein it stands for the letter 'J' in Jesus. The red and white sugar coloring stands for Christ's blood and purity, which when brought together make us holy before the Father's eyes.
Christmas wreaths represent unceasing love of the Father. It shows how God's mercies are new each day and how true love has no beginning or end! Wreaths remind us how privileged we are to have a Father whose love is never-ceasing and unconditional!
Gifts hung on the Christmas tree remind us of how we have received the greatest gift on earth, which is 'eternal life' through the blood of Jesus Christ. It reminds us how God gave His all for us and how we are to live our lives for Him on Earth.
Red and Green Colors of Christmas
Red stands for fire of the spirit, while green stands for nature and one's life on earth. Red along with green symbolizes the Holy Spirit's union with nature to be incarnate on Earth and save the world.
Putting up a Christmas Tree
There is no harm in placing a Christmas tree in the house. It's something that really looks pretty and is fun decorating. Everyone loves doing something creative. God has given us creativity and we should have no interest in wasting what he has given.
The simplest policy is to work with what God has placed in your hands and try to make it look good. We should pray and ask God to help us with ideas.
It's fun to see your house decorated for once in the year. Even if you are unable to purchase a Christmas tree, this doesn't mean Christmas is less meaningful. It's as special as any year. Work with the other decorations. Nevertheless, buy one next year and decorate it. So, definitely put up a Christmas tree and it do not feel guilty in any manner.
Whether you wish to celebrate Christmas or not, or whether you wish to put up a tree or not is purely your choice. When we say your choice, it also means not pressurizing others to comply with yours. If you decide not to place a tree, that's your decision and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.
However, be careful not to allow pride to seep into your hearts. Because, often we let our minds condemn those who do otherwise. Now, that's wrong! Spiritual pride is something God detests. God knows the heart of others and He will deal with those He finds guilty. You do not need to condemn.
Then again, if you choose to celebrate Christmas and put up a tree, don't look down on others who don't. Tree or no tree, remember Christianity is not about condemning others.
Some folks do not believe in Christ. Being born into a Christian family, they adopted the religion, however, they haven't allowed Christ to enter their hearts. Such people purely want to have a time of fun and Christmas is one excuse to indulge in excess of food, drinks, clothes, gifts, partying, etc. Such an attitude is displeasing to God.
Forget displeasing, it grieves the Father heart of God. They celebrate Christmas and completely forget the birthday boy! How sad! It is this attitude that has caused so much debate regarding whether to celebrate Christmas or not, and whether Christmas trees are right or wrong.
There are scores of debates already prevalent in Christianity, which have caused enough division, strife and hatred. People condemn each other for the slightest differences. However, Christ never came into the world to condemn but to save. If you are condemning others around you for as small a reason as Christmas trees, it's not worth it.
Christmas is a time to remember how God, the Father, sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to the Earth in human form through the womb of a virgin, Mary, to be crucified on the cross for the salvation of mankind! Tree or no tree, it is important to never forget the great price Jesus paid, just so that we could be saved!
Make sure you don't allow the shadows of glittery Christmas trees or other festivities obscure your vision of God's light! Christmas is all about Jesus Christ, and not about trees, gifts and feasts. God bless you!