Bishop Ward recounts for us the symbolism and significance of trees throughout the Bible from the Garden of Eden to Revelation.
Faithfulness shall spring up. Righteousness shall look down.
Psalm 85 is appointed for the second Sunday in Advent. The Christmas trees of this lovely season point toward the heavens. From the heavens, God sends Jesus, the Light of the world. Christmas trees are a tradition for us coming from ancient times.
The story is told of Martin Luther who in reformation Germany set up a tree for his own children to teach them the story of Christmas. The pointed fir, he said, points us toward God, who gives us the great gift of the Christ Child. Candles, lighted, were placed on the limbs, stars twinkling, demonstrating to the children the Light of the world who comes to us.
Trees are rich symbol in the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, trees are created for humans to have both shelter and sustenance. And through the Bible to the very end, in Revelation, trees appear. In the holy city of Jerusalem, there are trees for the healing of the nations. Jesus Christ himself was crucified on a cross, a holy tree. The Christmas tree in this holy season points us toward God and all God’s richest gifts. As we place gifts under our Christmas trees, we remember the great gift of God in Jesus Christ to us.
John the Baptist comes to us in early Advent pointing the way to the one who comes after. “He is mightier than I,” John says. Trees, John, even our lives point to this one who comes.
May this season abound in hope, peace, joy and love for you, those you love, your congregation, and this entire world.