China Chiristian Daily

- January 24, 2017 -

Church

The Real Meaning of Christmas Tree: Trinity, Eternal Life, and Grace

By Ruth Wang
on December 22, 2016 01:12 AM

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(credit: pixabay.com)

The Christmas tree has been regarded as one of the most significant decorations on Christmas. When it comes to the Christmas season, even most shopping mall puts supersized Christmas tree to catch the eye. But do you know the real meaning of Christmas trees?

Modern Christmas trees originated in Germany where the families placed a fir tree hung with round pastry wafers symbolizing the Eucharist. Now we use various cookies to replace with wafers and decorate the trees with candles representing Christ.

In the ancient time, red apples were hung on the trees, symbolizing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17)

The evergreen tree represents the eternal life the Lord gives (John 3:36) and the triangle of the tree stands for trinity (Matthew 28:18-19).

Candles or lights on the tree symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and the star placed at the top is used to represent Jesus, the bright star or the Star of Bethlehem, sometimes referring to the archangel Gabriel (Matthew 2:9).

Presents beneath the tree show that salvation is a gift from God, namely grace. (Romans 3:21-22)

According to billygraham.org, a reader once asked Rev. Billy Graham, "Does the Bible say that it is wrong to have a Christmas tree?"

The evangelist answered, "We understand your concerns about the use of the Christmas tree. Some have indicated that this practice is wrong because of the words in Jeremiah 10:1-5. These verses, however, do not apply to Christmas trees, but they do condemn the idolatry practiced in Jeremiah's day. God's people were following the customs of the heathen who cut down trees, shaped the wood into idols, decorated them with silver and gold ornaments, and worshiped them as gods.

It is important that we keep Christ central and our worship of Him unhindered in our observance of Christmas. However, we do not believe it is unbiblical to have a Christmas tree lighted and decorated in the home or the church. It has been suggested that the branches of the tree pointing upward can signify praise to God. The star at the top can represent the star of Bethlehem. Also, the green of the evergreens has been recognized as symbolic of eternal life, God's gift to us through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Translated by: Karen Luo

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