I love Christmas, I really do! It’s my favorite holiday and my favorite time of year because the air is charged with a different kind of spirit and expectation that something’s coming. Even though I love Christmas and I’ve been listening to Christmas music since way before it was socially acceptable to do so (sorry to anyone who has ridden in my car in the last month), it still seems to sneak up on me, and then pass with more of a fizzle than a bang… so, in expectation of Christmas, and in an effort to get my mind right for the holidays, I am going to do a short devo every day leading up to Christmas built out of some of my favorite Christmas carols. I hope you’ll join me for some or all of these next 12 days of Christmas!
O Christmas Tree
Growing up I absolutely loved when the Christmas tree went up in our house. A big part of that is that I was afraid of the dark, and the Christmas tree lit up the upstairs foyer so I could see when going to and from my room at night. The other side of it is the Christmas tree meant that the holidays and everything associated with them had finally arrived. This means lights, songs, no school, lots of food, sugar, and presents! The Christmas tree going up was like the gun shot that started the race to Christmas morning. Christmas trees are beautiful, and they’ve become the symbol of the season. On this day, Christmas eve, as we wrap up this devo series and part ways for the holiday, I want to leave you with this last reminder: The most beautiful tree we can look to this Christmas is the cross, and the best gift is not under it but on it.
The most beautiful tree this Christmas is not in front of Rockefeller Center, it’s not the one at the mall, and it’s not the one in your living room. The most beautiful tree this Christmas is not green, but bare and rugged, and it doesn’t smell like pine, but reeks of blood and death. The most beautiful tree this Christmas does not have LED lights on it, but instead the light of the world hung on it to breath His last breaths. The most beautiful tree this Christmas is not covered in colored glass ornaments, but is stained in blood and has a single sign that reads “King of the Jews.” The most beautiful tree this Christmas is a symbol of love, sacrifice, and hope. The most beautiful tree this Christmas is worth fixing our eyes on now and forever, and it changes everything. The most beautiful tree this Christmas is the cross where Jesus died to save us from death.
The most wonderful gift this Christmas is not found in a store, and it is not made by human hands. The most wonderful gift this Christmas can not be wrapped in paper or stuffed in a bag. The most wonderful gift this Christmas is not something you can save and work for. The most wonderful gift this Christmas does not come from your child, spouse, or parent. The most wonderful gift this Christmas is that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin so we could become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV). The most wonderful gift this Christmas is that “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV). The most wonderful gift this Christmas is that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV). The most wonderful gift this Christmas is and always will be Jesus: His perfect life, atoning death, and hope-giving resurrection.
The most beautiful tree we can look to this Christmas is the cross, and the best gift is not under it but on it. Jesus is the One we look to and trust in. He is our hope. He is our joy. Only Jesus.
Pray: God thank you for the cross. Would you center it in our sight and let our hearts be stirred with affection for you. Thank you that the cross of Jesus is cause for hope, and joy, and let us live our lives as a result of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.