Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Christmas Tree!

The Christmas tree is probably the most common Christmas decoration. They are found in homes, yards, malls, restaurants and stores. Although the Christmas tree may seem to be a secular decoration, it holds a great significance hidden beneath it's branches.

We may find it difficult to see a connection between Christmas and Easter, but there is an important connection which should not be overlooked. The Christmas tree helps to bridge that gap.

At the first Christmas, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town whose name means “House of Bread”. He was born in a stable which was most likely a stone cave and was laid in a wooden manger, which is the place where the animals eat. The shepherds, who had very little social status, came to worship Jesus in that cave and they found the Savior, who later proclaimed Himself to be the Bread of Life.

At Holy Week, Jesus gave the Apostles the Eucharist, the Bread of Life which is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Then he was nailed to a wooden cross and after he died was laid in a tomb which was actually a cave. The women, who had very little social status, came to attend to His body and found that he had resurrected.

As you can see, Christmas and Holy Week mirror each other in special and significant ways. One commemorates how Jesus came from Heaven into the world and the other commemorates how Jesus redeems humanity in order to bring us from the world into Heaven.

The Christmas tree is a wonderful, rich symbol of this connection between the Crib and the Cross. One provided a place for the Jesus to begin His earthly life and so begin His ministry of salvation and the other provided the place for his death and the fulfillment of his ministry of salvation.

When you see a Christmas Tree, remember that it gives honor to Christ in His incarnation, death, and resurrection as it stands as a symbol of the trees that became the crib and the cross.