Matthew 4:16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Shirley and I (and our family) have gone through 49 years of putting up some sort of Christmas tree. Some were Charlie Brown trees to be sure, while at least one other (my doings) was most unusual (that is the nicest thing Shirley will say about it.
It was last year, six months after we retired. Our house still looked like a hoarder’s paradise. If we could even find the tree there was no place to put it. Sooooooooo, someone had an idea. This someone ordered from a company in California a tree (complete with ornaments, lights and garland) that sticks to the wall. Not quite like the pull down shade kind that I was looking for but one that mostly stuck to the wall. I got some very strange looks from the grandkids and my son and daughter-in-law didn’t say much at all… they just stared at me from time to time. I was like the old eccentric (crazy) uncle the family just doesn’t talk about. Needless to say, I was not on Santa’s good list last year, nor the naughty list. I was on the “Never Do That Again” list.
This year, in preparation for Christmas, we had the closed in back porch renovated to look
like a real room. Mark just finished it last Friday. Early Saturday morning Shirley and I were out in the building looking for the Christmas tree box and all the Christmas decorations. We dug through the boxes, found most of the stuff we thought we had, and put the tree together. On the box lids we placed all the ornaments we were going to keep. A smaller box held the ones we wanted Joy to go through, and the other box was one we were going to discard… (take to Goodwill).
Around 1:00pm Noah and Abby came over (while mom went to the grocery store and accomplished some Christmas shopping) to help us decorate the tree. It is a good looking tree because of who helped. It probably wouldn’t win any contest, like some of the award winning trees some of you have posted on Facebook, but it is our little tree and has special meaning and memories for our family.
I remember my grandmother Martin’s Christmas tree. I would sit there and look at it for the longest time. She had some very special ornaments… ones that made bubbles inside the glass. I had never seen anything like that. I would look very hard, almost study them to see if I could find out how they were making those bubbles. I remember when Shirley and I bit the bullet and finally bought an artificial tree at Meyer’s Dept. Store. It was 1970 and it cost the outrageous sum (we thought we were committing some sin) of $25.00.
But over the years I have found it so soothing and peaceful to take the time to sit in the room, in the dark, with just the lights from the tree and look deeply into those lights. Perhaps it reminds me of “People who walked in darkness have seen a great Light….” Perhaps it reminds me that I, too, am to be the light of Christ to those around me… to allow others to see the light of Christ through my words and actions. Perhaps it reminds me that in a world filled with awful things, I can bring a word of hope, be a word of hope. Perhaps it reminds me that God will have and has had the last word… Love will win and has already won.
Take the time to look into the tree and allow your heart to warm and wander into the presence of Christ.
Dear Lord, Thank you for coming to live among us and shine your light on a darkened world. We still need your light today. There are a lot of dark places still out there. Illumine us, brighten us up and send us out to be a light to the world, in and through Jesus. Amen.
P.S. We did have some additional help… the little monster cat!!!