Monday, December 24, 2007

What's in a Tree?

Today I am reflecting on the reason for the season, the true meaning of Christmas. This probably has to do with my dad's sermon yesterday, or maybe it's just because I feel the need to see past the material aspect but whatever the reason, I'm contemplating.

My dad was saying yesterday that one of the messages of Christmas is to "Fear Not," this is clearly true for it was said 3 times in the story of the birth of Jesus. First it was said to Mary, then to Joseph and then even more importantly to the Shepherds who represent the common folk- like us.We should not fear, for Christ is near(Ok, yes, I agree that was a bit corny, but it's true.)

This message leads into another which is that Christ came for us, to free us of our sin. He came to this earth to die. He was born to die a horrible death, nailed to a tree, and He knew it and did it willingly because He knew it was not in vain. He went through every imaginable pain just so that we might live forever-how amazing and incredibly unselfish is that!? So then the second message of Christmas is to give, willingly.

Also I was thinking about all the symbolism that is shown in our Christmas traditions.
  • Think about the Christmas tree, what does that symbolize? Well, as I mentioned before, Jesus was nailed to a tree, and also being an evergreen could it could definitely symbolize the everlasting life he gave us by dying.
  • The Candy Cane, how is that symbolic? Well, it's stripes are reminiscent of the stripes which Jesus bore on his back from the beating he received before his crucifixion, the white signifying His purity and the red His blood. It's crooked top is reminiscent of a shepherds staff used to take up the lost sheep. All together this small piece of candy basically reminds us that He washed away the sin of all men. (Read more about this here)
  • The Candle represents the star which led the Wise Men to Bethlehem. (more here)
  • Gift Giving represents gifts given to Jesus by the Wise Men and also the Gift God gave us through His Son.
So Christmas isn't only about receiving gifts or about making sure the tree is just right or about the food, or the cookies and cakes, or Santa it's about remembering why we're alive, remembering who gave us life and more second chances than we deserve. And even though we may often discard these symbols as tradition they are still there to represent the fact that He came to this earth expressly to save us from sin. He took the persecution, the pain, the death, all so we wouldn't have to. He loves us that much- no matter our beliefs, no matter what we've done, He loves us, and that's the Reason for the Season.

Wow, that got long, but with that all in mind today, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!



Maryam in Marrakesh said...

A very merry Christmas to you! I know you will be celebrating it in the most wonderful way possible, with all the wee ones in your house. I can just imagine their squealing!

This image is my most favorite of yours thus far. I am wondering if you would consider printing and signing it for me? I would like to frame it in my house. I would pay for any costs involved and also send you a little gifty. Pls let me know.

Much love to you.

don said...

A fine picture but the comment section is the heart of the post! I enjoyed reading and sharing your thoughts about the real meaning of Christmas. Well stated, Hadassah! Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful day with family.

don said...

I have to leave a note for my special friend on New Year's Eve! I hope you have a wonderful 2008 with lots of good things in your life, health, peace and many, many pictures!