Tag Archive | The true meaning of Christmas

Sharing the Gospel with the Christmas Tree

 

 

Our first Christmas tree as a “family”. Mom and “Dad Hinchee” were married in April, 1964. I moved from my grandparents home and into our new apartment when school started. A new home, a new school and a new name. I morphed from Kathy Smith to Kathy Hinchee. It took a while for us to feel like a family. It must have been around Christmas time. Jerry (Dad Hinchee) cut two scotch pine trees and wired them together to make our very first Christmas tree – just as two “families” became one.

The Lord impressed upon my heart about 35 years ago that a Christmas tree could be more than just something to look pretty. In the middle of the night, I awoke and grabbed my Bible, paper and pen and have been sharing the Christmas Tree Gospel ever since.

I’m sure you have heard this before and have used the tree and lights to lead others to Christ. For this reason, I choose to exclude the jolly old elf and instead, focus on the King of King and Lord of Lords. His birth and His love for – you!

(This is a re-blog from last year. Since I have been posting about Christmas trees and cats, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to once more share the Gospel with the Christmas tree.)

~*~

Have you ever considered using your Christmas tree as a witnessing tool? I used to love using a small Christmas tree to present the Gospel to children.

  • First, we discussed the evergreen tree which reminds us of eternal life. It is ever green with sap running through it (before it is cut down)
  •  The shape of the tree points to God.
  • Of course, the tree must be in a stand to remain upright, as we need The Lord Jesus as our firm foundation.

The Next thing thing I would do (especially in Awana at night)  is to have someone turn out the lights so that the room would be dark – just as the darkness of sin. The world was in darkness until the Savior came.  I would then turn on the tree lights. White lights because they shine brighter then red, blue, green or even yellow lights.

  • The lights on the tree remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
  • The lights also remind us that we are to let Him shine through us ”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
  • The lights also remind me that there will be no need of sun or moon in Heaven; for Jesus is the light. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it; and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23)
  • Gold decorations & tinsel remind me of the streets of gold in Heaven. (Rev. 21:21)
  • Red decorations remind us that Jesus was born to die.  He shed His blood that we may be saved.  He paid the penalty for my sin. (John 3:16)
  • White on the tree reminds me that he washed me white as snow.
  • The star reminds us of the Bethlehem star which signified the birth of the King of Kings and was a guide for the wise men to follow that they may find Him, and worship Him.
  • Angels remind us of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2)

(In the Bible, Angels appear as men.  They are not portrayed as beautiful women in slinky or fancy dresses with wings and a halo. They are messengers of God.  They came to announce His birth and to Worship Him! We are to worship Him and not the angels.)

  • Ice-cycles hung on the tree reflect the light – just as we are to let The Light of the world reflect through us. When I was a child, the Ice-cycles were silver tinsel cut into long strands. Granddaddy always insisted on hanging them on the tree one by one so that they would hang perfectly. (I must admit to giving into the urge to take a hand full and fling them on the tree and allowed them to fall where they may. They often landed on the floor!) Today I use crystal or clear plastic. When the light shines on the crystal ones, we can almost see a rainbow reflected on the wall!
  • The tree skirt reminds me that He has clothed me with HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  • The gifts under the tree remind me of the greatest gift of all. Salvation wrapped in love. The perfect gift from God – His only begotten Son; the lamb of God who was born to die for us. Our virgin-born Savior, wrapped in swaddling clothes was the best gift ever given!

When doing the Christmas Tree Gospel presentation, sometimes I gave each child a card with a verse to read as we came to the appropriate moment/decoration. Of course, each was given the gift of a candy cane to take as a reminder of God’s wonderful gift to us.

Please excuse the family pictures as I haven’t decorated our tree yet this year and didn’t have a suitable photo of a Christmas tree to use.   I would love to hear how you share the Gospel at Christmas. Please feel free to give us your stories in the comment section. Have a blessed Christmas season this year!

Love,

Kathy

Cats and Christmas Trees

Earlier, I re-posted last year’s account of our Maine Coon, Ruby’s experience of chewing on the Christmas tree light which was attached to the pre-lit slimline tree. I promised to post pictures but for some reason, they didn’t show up.  So I will try again.

Ruby stayed under the table until the tree was up and didn’t bother it again. She had learned the blessing of forgiveness.

Ruby finally came out from under the table to “help” with the tree.

All was forgiven. Ruby and Skippy enjoyed the tree and were rewarded with gifts on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning 2011

“For me?”
(I learned years ago to add a little cat nip to the cat’s gifts. They will be drawn to that package first!)

“I love it – even though this one was really meant for Skip.”

We bought the pink toy for Ruby but Skippy preferred her gift and she preferred his!

After the initial problem of the lights, Skippy and Ruby were well behaved in regard to the tree. Pets chewing on cords and eating tinsel are hazards this time of the year. There are products that one can buy to spray on the cords, tree, ornaments, furniture or anything you don’t want to chew on. We discovered Sour Apple several years ago and it worked very well. We may need to buy some more this year.  “Why, you ask?”

“Skip and Ruby said we are getting a real Christmas tree. This will be my first Christmas with my forever family!” Alice said as she purred in anticipation.

This is Alice’s first Christmas with us in her forever home. We want her to be safe and to enjoy the tree as well. (Some of our dainty ornaments may not go on the tree this year, just in case!) Alice’s nick name is “Turbo Kitty” because she loves to run through the house and literally climb the walls! She’s fast and loves to play. I am sure we will have some delightful pictures to share as we decorate our Christmas tree this year!

We have had cats since 1991 and it can be a challenge and entertaining to have kitties checking out the decorations. Of course, we can’t pile presents under the tree until we are ready to open them but that’s okay.  I would rather have a bare tree skirt than to have our felines chewing on ribbons which can be dangerous if swallowed.  Besides, once the packages are opened, they enjoy chasing balled up paper and sitting in the empty boxes!

Our first cat, Zippy picked out his gift immediately. I sprinkled cat nip on the toy before wrapping it. This is the Christmas that we learned the danger of allowing the cats to chew on ribbons. He loved his toy, though!

Jake had almost as much fun with his “Christmas bag” as he did with the toys. You can see how delighted he was!

“I can’t believe they gave me a toothbrush and kitty toothpaste for Christmas! At least I have this comfy box!”

Patch claimed John’s gift for his own. We often tied the bandana around Patch’s neck and he walked around in it with his head held high. All he needed was a pair of boots and a cowboy hat to complete the outfit!

“Now, where did Mom hide those gifts?”

And then there was Missy Cat who discovered the true meaning of Christmas!

Join Missy Cat on her adventure when she jumps into the Christmas tree and discovers the true meaning of Christmas! (Now available as an ebook and can be ordered as a print book from Amazon.com)

May you be blessed this Christmas as you focus on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus!

Happy decorating!

Kathy