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The Christmas tree, the most significant symbol of Christmas, is an evergreen tree, representing life. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree is historically traced to the 15th century. “The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there are many traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. [1]

The branches on the evergreen tree remind us of the many roles we have in our lives, such as parenting, grandparenting, etc. They also remind us of all the relationships we have with our family, friends, neighbors, careers, hobbies, activities, sports, etc. As we submit each of these branches to God, He will adorn them with ornaments, as He develops our character, with the fruit of the Spirit. 

Let’s look at the ornaments as representing the fruit of the Spirit. If we accept God’s unconditional LOVE in our hearts, allowing His love to flow through us to others, it will give us JOY. Our hearts will be full of joy amidst the daily challenges in our lives because “The joy of the Lord will be our strength.”  When we experience the joy of the Lord as our strength, we will have peace. PEACE is calmness in our hearts amidst the challenges we face, extending through our lives to others. After our adorning with love, joy, and peace will empower us with PATIENCE, an attitude that does not lose hope for others even if they irritate or hurt us. KINDNESS expressed with our words and deeds to a sad or lonely heart maybe their connection for Jesus. Then GOODNESS will flow into good works from our kind heart, reflecting the character of God attracting others to Jesus. 

Another ornament placed on the tree is FAITHFULNESS. Just as God is faithful to us, it is vital that we, too, are dependable and trustworthy at all times. Faithfulness brings us to GENTLENESS, an ability to be pleasant, composed, and controlled in the daily challenges of life. The last ornament we will place on the tree is SELF-CONTROL, which adorns our lives with the character of strength to restrain us from doing wrong. We cannot have self-control without all the other ornaments.

Then we will wrap the tree with a garland of God’s righteousness and place the star on the top directing people to Jesus. We will plug in the lights illuminating the tree representing Jesus the light of the world, a symbol of hope. Just as we have beautiful Christmas trees in our homes, our lives will be beautiful when adorned with the fruit of the Spirit. 

This year let’s give our grandchildren a spiritual application of the Christmas tree representing everlasting life adorned with the ornaments of the fruit of the Spirit, wrapped with the garland of God’s love, the star directing others to Jesus, and shining as lights in a dark world. 

Pray that your grandchildren will stand as a symbol of hope in a dark world adorned in the strength and beauty of the fruit of the Spirit like the beautiful Christmas tree.

The greatest and most lasting Christmas gift you can give your grandchildren is the gift of a praying grandparent.

By Lillian Penner, Prayer Director for Christian 
Grandparenting Network, pennerlp@gmail.com

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Comment by Phil Miglioratti on December 21, 2020 at 2:26pm

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