Christmas Is Coming…

Christmas is coming … Have you put up your Christmas tree?

Here at the church we’ve already put up one Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary and soon we will be putting up another one on our front lawn.  Sunday December 11th, after Worship, we will have a time to gather on the lawn for Hot Chocolate, Goodies, Christmas Carols… and we will Light up the Tree! It is amazing how beautiful it looks to have a Christmas Tree lit up at night, shining in the heart of Cupertino, the Cross on one side and the Christmas Tree on the other, as a light to the Nations.

Some people say the first Christmas tree can be traced back to when Martin Luther, the famous church Reformer and theologian.  He cut a fir tree and took it home in December of 1540. The evergreen tree reminded him that life continued through the winter, when most of nature appeared to have died. He attached a number of small candles to illuminate the tree to express that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, was welcome in his home.  Others trace the beginning of the Christmas tree tradition to an eighth century missionary from England named St. Boniface.  One December he encountered a group gathered under an oak tree participating in a pagan ritual.  Boniface chopped the oak tree down.  At its foot was a small fir tree.  He cut the small fir tree and gave it to the people gathered there as a gift, a symbol of life that carried within it “the fragrance of brokenness”.  Even when life is broken, we find that we are blessed with the precious presence of God.  He called it the tree of the Christ-child.

The Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition.  But the truth is, the very first Christmas tree can be traced back to the Bible.  It is not a fir tree, and you can’t go out and buy it at Home Depot or at a Christmas tree farm. It is the most important Christmas tree of all… It’s a family tree… It’s Jesus’ family tree. And you and me, and all of our families, and all of the people we know and love, and all of God’s children all over the world are a part of it… because it is our family tree too. 

Down through the ages people have known that when this tree finds a place in our hearts it illuminates our lives and expresses that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is welcome in our homes.  Each time we reflect on the great gift God has given us that we are all a part of God’s beautiful family, we celebrate the blessings of life and we come to know the presence of God experienced in our own families…  just as they are….  beautiful and broken and fabulous and dysfunctional all at the same time.

And

Joseph also

went up from Galilee,

from the city of Nazareth,

to Judea, to the city of David,

which is called Bethlehem, because

he was of the house and lineage of David,

to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed who was

with child.  And while they were there the time came

for her to be delivered.  And she gave birth to her firstborn

son…

Grace and Peace…  And Merry Christmas.

Pastor Mark