It was the ‘Perfect Tree’…but, its beginning was not on this holiday weekend. No, its beginning stretched back years and years ago when God began to care for it as a young sapling.
Over the years it grew, as it weathered mild and wild seasons of heat and rain. It grew, as hunters and prey had both used it for cover. It grew, as young lovers met beneath its branches for stolen kisses and promises carved deep into its side. It grew, and grew and grew until truly it was majestic.
And then, after years of enduring, maturing, stretching, surviving and reaching toward the heavens, this amazing tree was felled by the swift blows of a woodman’s axe.
The holiday weekend was already upon the people of that hustling and bustling city when this tree was brought in as a late addition to the festivities. The people were so busy moving from store to store and preparing for that holiday supper that few even noticed the tree being hauled into that special gathering spot just outside of town.
Few noticed, that is, until the government workers went about their job of decorating this ‘Perfect Tree.’
Then… no one could take their eyes away.
Still tall and majestic, but now so different, the workers were busy about the base of the tree.
Sure, there were other trees in the city; in fact, there were a couple of others on that very hill where this ‘Perfect Tree’ was now standing. But, there was something about this tree and its decorations that made all the others pale in comparison.
This tree was decorated with three shiny metal ornaments which were nailed deep into its branches to support ‘The Gift’ which it held.
It was labeled with a sign to make sure all who came by to see the tree on that holiday weekend would know why it was being decorated.
On its top was no star, or angel, but a crown of twisted branches. And, on its branches no lights to blink and shine. But, this tree was even more magnificent as it was boldly and beautifully dressed out all in red… from head to toe.
Despite this “Perfect Tree’s” scandalously beautiful tragically amazing display, no carolers came to sing festive songs, no presents were laid beneath, and no warm greetings were offered in it’s shadow.
Instead… insults were hurled… gamblers rolled their dice… and God Himself gave up His life. For this was no Christmas tree and this was not Christmas time, but the season was Passover and the tree a cross.
The gift in it’s branches, the same one we celebrate this weekend.
The Savior, Christ the Lord
This holiday season, more than two millennium later, is a celebration of that gift. As we look for that perfect gift for our spouse, or we seek that perfect card for the neighbors, let’s not forget that it all began with a baby, a mission and a tree.
It all began with… the ‘Perfect Tree.’