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?
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.
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.
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.
It also represents the shining hope of mankind that first shone in Bethlehem, leading the wise men to baby Jesus.
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.
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.
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!