Advent Stories and messages from around the world
“The Hidden Gift within your Christmas Tree”
December 6, 2021
Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; Acts 13:29
My wife Kathy and I have been married for over 47 years. During that time, we have accumulated a plethora of Christmas Ornaments. We still have a number of our original Christmas ornaments, which involved painting a clear plastic ornament and baking them in the oven.
Over the years, we’ve accumulated both religious and secular ornaments. We always put all of the angel ornaments toward the top of the tree. The rest are scattered all around. Disney, Coca Cola Santa, manger scenes, and Lennox crystal ornaments.
I find that during the weeks leading up to Christmas, I don’t look at the ornaments very much after the tree is decorated. But, as we put them up, our memories of Christmas past turns into a two-hour conversation as we put up each ornament.
Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve hidden cross ornament in the middle of our Christmas tree. I do this to remind us of the hidden gift within our Christmas tree. Remember, without Christ, there is no Christmas.
The book of Acts, written by the Apostle Luke, is the only New Testament book that refers to the cross Christ died on as a tree. Luke uses the word tree, not once, but three times. (The Greek for a cross is a tree)
The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross). Acts 5:30
And we are [eye and ear] witnesses of everything that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And [yet] they put Him out of the way (murdered Him) by hanging Him on a tree; Acts 10:39
And when they had finished and fulfilled everything that was written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. Act 13:29
Let’s be realistic; a cross comes from a tree. All wood comes from trees.
So, the idea of hiding the cross deep within our Christmas tree is a reminder that Jesus died on the cross for you and me. The promise of a Savior was first mentioned in Genesis 3 by God. The fulfillment of that promise came true one starry night in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago.
Jesus being born on what we call Christmas night was just the beginning of the promised fulfillment made by God. He (Jesus) would go on to teach, preach, heal and serve throughout His ministry. Finally, fulfilling the scriptures by being arrested, beaten, and crucified for our sins.
Earlier I mentioned the two-hour conversation my wife and I had concerning the history of our Christmas ornaments as we put them on the tree. For us, the cross and what Jesus did for us by dying on the tree/cross is a daily part of a conversation.
Let the cross of Christ and what He did for me, and you always be a part of your daily life. So why not strike up a conversation with Him right now, thanking Him for all He has done for you? Amen.
Dear Jesus. You died on the cross for our sins. You sacrificed your life, so others might live. Help us to never hide the Gospel story from others, but bring the message of your birth, life, death, and resurrection to the world. Amen.