Guest Blog – The Ultimate Christ Tree – A Women’s Advent Tea devotion from Concordia
I pray that as you see the glorious trees found in this season, they would each draw your thoughts to the Tree of Life
The Guarded Tree
Imagine the fiercest warrior, armed with the most fearsome of weapons, guarding the most beautiful of Christ-Trees you have ever seen a glimpse of–for a glimpse is all you can see as this warrior not only blocks access, he eclipses your vision of the glorious Tree that proclaims the life and glory God would have shared with us.
Hear how Moses describes that Tree,
“22 Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 (NLT2)
It is this tree that the Christmas Tree is modeled after, one that would reflect the glory of God, one that we have the promise of seeing, if we realize its role in our life,
The Imitation Trees
There was, of course, another tree in that Garden. My husband believes it wasn’t an apple tree, but rather an avocado tree (because he believes the avocado to be the evilest or vilest of fruits). But no matter what it was, that tree offered the opportunity to truly see, for while its fruit was enticing and while it seemed to promise so much, it delivered only tears and sorrow, guilt and shame.
That’s like a lot of things in our life – they seem perfect, but their reality doesn’t always live up to the standard we expected. These trees are not even ugly-cute, like Charlie Brown’s tree, but they are more like a tree that loses all its needles two days after Thanksgiving, with everything bare, the limbs sagging, and leaving us with a mess in its wake.
But that’s the other tree – the tree of knowing good and evil–the one that taught us to experience evil…because we already knew what good was…
The Tree of Life in this life…
That brings us to the ugliest Christ tree, the Tree of Life that was not in the Garden of Eden, but a desolate hill–a barebones tree, to which Jesus was nailed.
It may be hard to see a cross when you look at a Christmas Tree, just as it is hard to see the baby in Mary’s arms hanging upon that cross…
But there is no tree more glorious –no tree with anything more precious hanging from it, no other tree that proclaims we shall live, even though Jesus had to die.
So, here is our hope – here is our life, and every piece of tinsel, every shiny ornament, and even the star on top just like it hovered over Him at Bethlehem, should remind us of our Lord, and His love for us.
For from that Cross – from that Christmas Tree, from that Glorious Tree of life comes this truth:
Alleluia, He is risen, (He is risen indeed, Alleluia)
And therefore, (we are risen indeed, Alleluia)
The Tree of life, unguarded
The Tree of Life is unguarded for all who know Jesus. We don’t have to fear a mighty angel blocking our way. Furthermore, according to the last chapter of Revelation, all the Trees in God’s presence in heaven bring healing to us, a much-needed balm, refreshment, and nourishment.
Those trees will certainly all be glorious – and yet there is one Tree that will be remembered above all…Even at Christmas.