Oh, Christmas Tree
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” – Revelations 1:8
Have you ever wondered why we have a Christmas tree or why it’s an evergreen? I learned recently about a man named Boniface. (680–754) He was a Christian missionary, best known for establishing the first organized Christianity in many parts of Germany, and founding the use of a Christmas tree to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. It’s a fascinating story!
From his other missionary travels, Boniface knew that in winter the inhabitants of the village of Geismar, Germany gathered around a huge old oak tree (known as the “Thunder Oak”) that they had dedicated to the false god Thor. The gathering was an annual event of pagan worship centered on sacrificing a human, usually a small child.
Boniface desperately desired to convert the village by destroying the Thunder Oak, which the pagans had previously boasted the God of Boniface could not destroy. The fellow missionaries who voyaged with Boniface were fearful that the Germans might kill them, but Boniface, bold as a lion, grabbed an axe and chopped down the Thunder Oak of “mighty Thor.”
Astonished by the destruction of the oak tree and in awe of Boniface’s preaching of the gospel, the German tribe accepted Jesus Christ and were baptized. Instead of using the oak tree to worship a false god, Boniface suggested for them to use an evergreen tree to represent Christ. Why? (1) Because the green leaves of an evergreen are constant and unchanging, just like Christ’s love… (2) it is a sign of an endless life… (3) and it points toward Heaven.
Tonight, when you gaze upon your radiant Christmas tree, I hope you think of our faithful and constant God.
“Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!
Thy leaves are so UNCHANGING…”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8