Around this time there always seems to be an upward surge of effort and energy around the globe to find the historical roots of some of our dearest Christmas traditions;
…and while much of what we can learn on the internet is interesting, I have often wondered how we Christians have missed some of the simplest imagery.
Take another look at the tree for example.
We do not need to dive in the books of some ancient German library to see that it bears a striking resemblance to the tree we experienced on calvary.
In fact, that is what the earliest Catholics liked to call it you know.
In one moment the cross that Christ hung on was the stavros (the cross) and in another moment it was the tree.
Just think of Acts 13.
When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.
Or from Galatians
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”.
You see, the tree of Christmas, even though it is to be found right at the beginning, where a baby sleeps and angels rejoice…
…even way back there, we think about what that precious baby came to do.
And the tree…
…decorated as it is with so much colour and majesty,
…is a symbol for us every Christmas of where it will all end for our Lord.
So when you finally erect your tree, and cover it with the finest traditions that your family has passed on to you…
Remember to say thank you…
…because although today it carries trinkets, in time it will carry the body of the One we love.
in Christ, patrick