A few moments ago I listened to a very short video about the Advent of Christmas wherein the speaker, Paul David Tripp, shared the following:
“I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas! I love setting up our ridiculously big Christmas tree—twelve feet high—it’s nuts! I love decorating it. I love all of those traditions.
And I’m very aware that Christmas is all about a tree. But it’s not the tree you decorate. There’s another tree that Christmas is all about. In fact, I’ve thought many times that, ‘even before the foundations of the earth, there was a tree in Jesus’ future.’
And from the first breath that Jesus took, every step he took was marching toward this tree. This is not a tree of happiness. This is not a tree of joy. This is not a tree that you would celebrate. Nobody would ever want to be any part of this tree, but Jesus.
In fact, the Bible says that Jesus approached this tree with joy. That tree is not an evergreen. It was a cross. Jesus knew, when He came to earth, that that Cross was His destiny.
When the angels sang, their song of joy was really about the Cross. When the wise men searched for Jesus, they were searching for One who would hang on a cross, because there was no other way for what was broken inside of human beings to be fixed other than the Cross. And so, Jesus came. He didn’t come as a reigning king. He didn’t come to be celebrated. He came to suffer and to die. And so, it’s true that every step he took brought Him to the Cross. That Cross was an essential part of everything that God had in mind for human beings because what was broken at the garden, the separation of sin had to be dealt with. There had to be one who would live perfectly, who would die acceptably, who would rise again, conquering sin and death in order for us to have forgiveness, acceptance with God, power for living, and eternal life.
I would just say to you, my prayer is, when you look at your well-decorated tree, that you would remember that other tree.
Your tree that you decorate, can’t give you life. The other tree is a Source of life. Christmas is a story about that tree and the One who came to hang on that tree to satisfy God’s requirement so we would know life abundant and life forever.”
Dear sisters, may it be ever so true; may it be said of us that we let nothing, absolutely nothing, interfere with or hinder our ability to keep all of our doing, decorating, shopping, cooking, baking…to keep the main, core, primary thing of most importance Jesus, Jesus, JESUS!!
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.