Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Green Stuff: Christmas Trees

He came into the world…
Hebrews 10:5

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 10:5-10

In ancient Scandinavia, the evergreen tree was considered a symbol of life amid the bleak darkness of winter. Vikings reportedly cut down evergreens and brought them into their homes as a source of encouragement. In the 600s, Boniface, a British missionary, traveled across Europe using pines as object lessons of eternal life. Even the harsh winter couldn't kill them, said Boniface, who also used their triangular shapes to teach about the Trinity. For centuries afterward, people cut down trees and brought them indoors, creating a celebratory midwinter atmosphere. As an added benefit, the tree's fragrance provided a pleasing aroma during the confining months of winter.

According to tradition, it was Martin Luther who popularized trees as a Christmas symbol of the new life given us by the Christchild, and it was also Luther who wrote a carol that's been sung around Christmas trees for nearly 500 years: "From heaven above to earth I come, / To bear good news to every home."

May all the Christmas trees we encounter this year point our hearts upward toward our blessed Savior!

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes! Who is it in yon manger lies? Who is this Child so young and fair? The blessed Christchild lieth there.
Martin Luther

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