Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: AN INSTRUMENT OF HOPE
By Emily Blakely
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No human eye observed the birth of what would become a tree, provided no storm would send a catastrophe down to crush the newborn bud. Provided no heavy-footed forest animal would tread where it grew or woodland fowl would nest upon it.
What odds could be assigned to survival of something so small as a newborn evergreen? Days ticked by into years until the tree reached a noble height and one winter day it received a royal adornment.
Softly falling crystals formed a white mantle on dark green boughs. Sunlight sparkled strings of water beads on the bejeweled tree in a rainbow of color. Nightfall suspended melting snowdrifts into the final adorning touch of icicles. A signed masterpiece and sight to take one’s breath away.
Piercing through surrounding dormancy and gloom, evergreens speak of life against a backdrop of winter dead landscape. Trees are often cut to bring their enticing scent indoors and become the family Christmas tree.
Tinsel, lights, and elaborate decorations are man’s feeble attempt to imitate the tree described in its natural glory. In the past it was thought that such celebration and tree decorating promoted irreligious frivolity, but for many today it sparks a hope of better things to come.
Legend has it that the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas began when Martin Luther, on a crisp Christmas Eve about the year 1500, was walking through snow-covered woods. On seeing a group of small evergreens, he was struck by their beauty, branches dusted with snow that shimmered in the moonlight. After returning home he set up a little fir tree indoors and decorated it with candles, lighted in honor of Christ’s birth.
Wrapped up in a Christmas tree is the Creator’s gift of hope, of better things to come through the Babe whose birth is remembered and celebrated.
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