Wait a minute before taking down your Christmas tree! It can do something more for you than shine some lights and glitter some tinsel.
In Judeo-Christian Scripture man’s story almost begins with a tree—a garden of trees, in fact. The forbidden one was the one necessary for man to sample to become a conscious human being, able to distinguish between good and evil.
Later, the songs of the Hebrews sang of man as a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in its season. Over and over tree is used as a metaphor for God’s greatest creation, and the water it needs for life as God’s greatest gift.
There are legends that tell of man eager to return to the first garden in order to sample the fruit of the tree he had ignored, that of eternal life. And the gospels corroborate this by having Jesus tell of an abundant life that God intends for everyone.
Look at your Christmas tree one more time, as a symbol of yourself: richly decorated, if only with popcorn strings and paper chains; the center of your holiday enjoyment; holding treasures wrapped and waiting for the joy of the recipient; a memorial to the idea that evergreens represent life that does not die.
You are a conscious tree, growing in living water (whether you recognize it or not): your life having been decorated by all the people who have had positive influences on you; your lights being your positive influences on others; and the gifts (which must begin under the tree to complete the symbol), all the blessings you give and receive throughout the year.
So, take down your tree if you must, but think every day of the corner where it stood, and be that tree throughout the year.
27 December 2015
(Note: Nine other essays on the symbols of Christmas may be found on this website under Meditations)