Yes Virginia There is a Christmas Tree
by paul hoffmaster
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ďYes, Virginia, There is a Christmas TreeĒ
I know that you are excited about Christmas and can hardly wait until that special day comes. You will probably get up early and run into the room where the Christmas tree is all lit up and the presents are sitting there waiting to be opened. As your family gathers around the tree, you may sing a few Christmas songs and then sing happy birthday to Jesus, for this is His day. The celebration begins and the packages quickly become unraveled. I know the excitement of opening the gifts is one of the most exciting times of the year for you. You realize, of course, Virginia, that the greatest gift anyone has ever received is Godís gift of His Son. I know you knew that, but it doesnít hurt to hear it again.
Now I understand that you have been hearing from other kids that Christmas trees do not belong in a Christianís house. Donít blame your friends for saying such things, they probably donít understand, but thatís what they have been taught. You see, there are many different interpretations of the Bible and some people, to be very truthful with you, donít understand what they read, yet they tell others what they think it means. Let me explain. In Jeremiah 10:1-6, Jeremiah is telling the people of Israel (Godís special people) that there are individuals who donít believe in God. Instead, what they do is make things and worship them as gods (idols.) What they did in this story was to go out in the woods and cut down a tree and then decorated it with silver and gold. They then took nails and hammered them into the base of the tree to keep it from falling. Then they, can you believe this, began to worship it! Jeremiah was telling the people of Israel that there was only one God and that was the God whom they were serving.
Is it wrong to have a Christmas Tree? If you worship that tree and make it the center of your attention, then it can become an idol and that would be wrong. But to decorate a tree as well as our house, both inside and out, would not be a bad idea. Remember that birthday party you went to a couple of weeks ago? All those balloons and decorations, wasnít that fun? Well, why canít everyone throw Jesus a big party, tree and all?
The Evergreen tree can represent the ďever presenceĒ of Jesus in your life. The lights can show that we are all a light and we surround Jesus with our love. The gifts around the tree show our love, not only for Him, but for others. So Virginia, yes, there is a Christmas tree, but it is not to be the center of our celebration. It is not something we bow down to. It is not something we worship; rather, it is just a decoration that reflects the joy we feel in our hearts. Oh, by the way, it wouldnít hurt to invite some of those ďotherĒ friends over sometime during the Christmas break. They still might not agree with the way you celebrate Jesusí birthday, but at least you will show them there are no hard feelings. Remember the reason for the season, and celebrate it with a party you will not soon forget!
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