He asked me what tidings meant as he hung the angel he had decorated last year on our freshly cut tree.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10)
These days, Ezra asks a lot of good questions. Observant questions.
Tidings. Tiding is usually found in the plural. It is defined as a “piece of news.”
I thought that our deviation from an artificial tree to an evergreen that would assault our senses with its fragrant essential oils would be a blessing this year.
Much to my surprise and dismay, our green boughs brought discord . . . and tears.
“Mommy, I don’t want it to die!!”
But Asher, it will die eventually. We are all dying every day.
“I don’t want to get rid of our old tree. Don’t throw away the box.”
I’m not going to throw the box away. Daddy and I thought it would be a fun treat for you kids to experience a real Christmas tree. One that God made and grew.
A tree that truly reminds us of Jesus.
A cross . . . made of wood . . . wood that pressed against our Savior’s skin so that later we would celebrate His birth and rejoice in His rebirth.
That is why . . . before our tree has a hint of tinsel . . . we remember.
We remember what the tree stood for . . . and who was on that tree . . . Jesus.
The nail . . . it reminds us. It is hung as close to the tree trunk as possible.
Like Jesus, Asher, the tree had to die. There is no way to avoid it. Sure, the world could stop selling fresh Christmas trees.
The tree would still die.
But this tree . . . this tree that we have here in our family room was probably planted the year you were born.
It was planted by a person who intended for the tree to bring joy. To one day travel to our house, to shelter your three gifts until the appointed day.
The tree is part of a larger story. A plan. It was purposefully planted in a spot where it could grow, spread out its limbs, only to be cut down. Once it was cut it lay flat for many days until we brought it home.
And it became part of our story. It found its purpose. The reason for its life.
Likewise, God designated each of us to live at a certain time . . . to be born, to live, to serve, to know Him . . . to be a part of God’s story . . . His plan – so that all may know . . that He is the Christ.
He is the author of our story . . . we are a chapter in God’s giant book . . . the best one ever written.
Like Jesus, our tree lived to die. And in that . . . brought us joy tonight as we prepared a place for it in our home.
It brings good tidings.
A reminder . . . of Jesus.