Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree . . ."

Luke 3:9
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

One of our favorite Christmas rituals when my children are growing up is selecting our Christmas tree. No artificial ones for us! We want the real deal!

We meander observantly through the forest of evergreens, inhaling the heavenly scent. I tell Daniel, my son, and Sarah, my daughter, what to look for in the perfect tree.

"First, is price," I state flatly. "I won't go above fifty dollars this year."

"Aw, Mom!" Sarah moans.

But, Daniel brightens.

"If we find one cheaper than fifty dollars, can Sarah and I split the leftover money?"

I laugh, "No, but it will all come out in the Christmas wash, if you catch my drift. So, the first thing to look at is the price tag. Second, . . ."

Here, I pull on a limb for emphasis.

"You rub your fingers along the branches. If no needles fall off, we know the tree is good and fresh."

"Ewww, Mom, that's sticky!" Sarah says with a grimace.

"That's the sap, stupid," says Daniel. "It won't hurt you."

"Don't call your sister 'stupid'!"


"Third, look all around the tree to make sure the branches are evenly spaced. We don't want any unsightly gaps. Fourth, check the trunk to see that it's straight. And, fifth . . ."

"Look, Mom! Here it is!" Daniel exclaims. "We're standing right in front of it!"

Sure enough. The very tree I single out for the lesson is exactly what we are looking for.

We share a round of laughter.

Out comes my purse. Home goes the Christmas tree.
When we stand amidst the greenery of real Christmas trees, it's easy to forget they are no longer living. The ax has been put to the root. The only "fruit" these trees will bear, if chosen from the lot, will be shiny lights and ornaments and a glowing star on top.

And, when we reflect upon the Lord's Second Coming in glory, it's easy to forget the judgment. The ax to the root. The winnowing of grain from chaff.

May the Day of the Lord find us deeply rooted in Him . . .

How are you growing in God's will for you?

Will you pray with me?
Save us, Lord, from the time of trial. Lead us not into temptation. Ground us firmly in Your Word. Let us serve You, and You alone, all of our days until Your coming again. Amen.

Psalms 55 or 138, 139:1-17 (18-23)
Isaiah 10:20-27
Jude 17-25
Luke 3:1-9


  1. I am happy you found the Christmas tree you wanted...Hope you have a great Christmas.I think I am learning to grow with God's will in me..finally after all these years in life..and I am happy to see this change in me..thanks for another enlightening post Martha.

  2. Hi, Alpana - So glad you stopped by today!
    I am so gratified to know you can feel yourself growing in God's will for you. Believe me, I can identify with you as it took me many years to see how His hand was working in my life.
    May you, too, have a very Merry Christmas!
    Blessings always!

  3. Good Morning, Martha:
    Love the simple lesson that sometimes what we're looking for is right in front of us. That will serve your children well later in life.

    That's the MOST important thing I took away from this column today. Also like that Daniel is the voice of reason. Though he is somewhat sarcastic w/his sister but that's simply the way siblings behave w/each other.

    Hope your Christmas is filled w/the spirit, w/friends and family and with joy!

  4. A great post about seeing what lies in front of us and accepting it. Have a great Christmas...

  5. Hi, Chris, Sulekka, and Janu, and thanks for dropping by today!
    @Chris - You saw the "lesson" better than I did as I wrote this! Great insight! Yes, the kids were "on each other" when young but, now they're all grown up, they get along great.
    @Sulekkha - Thanks for the kind words!
    @Janu - Thanks so much for the compliment!

    A Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all!

  6. I hope his coming is soon....right in front of me is dark and gloomy..I dream of seeing light and joy right in front of me...As always...XOXOXOOXO

  7. Bonnie, thank you so much for stopping by today.

    I want that light and joy for you more than anything! I, too, hope He is coming soon to wipe away every tear and demolish every fear.

    As dark and gloomy as things are, my friend, know He feels your hurt and knows your fathomless pain.

    He loves you so much.

    Blessings, my friend . . .

  8. Sometimes the answer is right before our eyes and we don't see it...How true this is !
    Thank you for your valuable lesson...It just re confirmed my decision!

  9. Hi, Savira, I'm so glad you stopped by and am so grateful for your support always.
    Isn't it amazing how we will search and search when the answer is right underneath our noses? I am so grateful that this message touched your heart and reconfirmed your decision for your own life's path.
    May God bless you at every turn and in every journey your heart seeks to travel.
    Love and blessings always!


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