Priscilla is a house mother here at the home for needy children in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I am currentlyxmas tree1 enjoying God.  She gave a nice devotional the other morning about trees, fruit and Christians.  She mentioned the beautifully decorated mission Christmas tree nearby.  I forget exactly what she said about the tree that related to our spiritual life, but it got me thinking.

I don’t know what the Christmas tree culture is like in the United States these days, since I have not been in the U.S. for Christmas for many years, but I imagine that it is similar to Mexico.  Most people here have artificial trees.  A few have real pine trees.  My family has a real tree in our living room that looks and smells great.  Christmas seems more Christmassy to me with a real tree. I think that the kind of tree, and the way a person decorates the tree for the holidays, indicates what kind of person they are.  Where their priorities are and what is important to them, for good and for bad.  But that is beside the point.  Forgive me.  I wander as I wonder.

What I am wondering about is how do different Christmas trees look like different types of Christians, orxmas tree2 represent different spiritual outlooks.  For instance, here in Oaxaca Mexico I see a great variety of fake trees.  Some look really fake, and some look relatively lifelike.  There are some that are all white, perhaps to give the idea of a snow covered tree.  We don’t get snow here where I live, but I wonder, what kind of a Christian would a fake white tree indicate.

Then there are the blue trees, the orange trees and the purple trees.  And the multicolored trees.  I don’t know if they have these colors of artificial trees in the U.S., but I see them for sale at places that sell fake trees here.  What kind of Christian do you imagine as one of these trees?  You see a tree with some red branches, some green branches, and some indigo colored branches, and you think to yourself, “Self, that tree reminds me of _________.

A few people, although they seem to be dwindling in number, prefer real trees.  Every tree is different.  Most smell great, and they all have shedding pine needles and they have to be thrown away after xmas tree3Christmas.  What kind of Christian does that seem to you?

Living trees are also popular among some folks.  They are a good idea to me and I have often thought that I would like to have one some year, but they are usually pretty expensive.  The upside is that you can plant it in your yard when Christmas is over, and can enjoy it all year round.  What Christian personality comes to mind when you think of this kind of tree?

It’s not really a Christmas tree until it is decorated.  Every person and every family has their own preferences when it comes to decorating old tannenbaum.  Some trees look like Martha Stewart was called in to arrange the lights and bulbs.  Others remind me of a “Charlie Brown”  tree with a single strand of lights and a couple cracked and faded ornaments dangling precariously from a few thin limbs.  Most Christmas trees fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

The Schwab tree has flashing orange and green lights with some store bought ornaments, some that werexmas tree4 given to us, and most that were hand made by Sally and Kelly, or by friends.  If I was that kind of Christmas tree Christian, and who is to say I’m not, what would my spiritual personality be?

The cool thing about Christianity is that God has chosen very diverse people to be His followers.  There are about as many different kinds of Christians as there are, well, as there are decorated Christmas trees.  This Christmas, let’s not forget to thank God for all the different kinds of Christians in the world. Some may seem a bit strange.  Some do things differently than you or I would do them.  Some are really theological and others very socially minded.  Some are active in the church, and others are active in the community.  Some are introspective and others are people persons.  All think or believe a little differently (or a lot) about almost every issue that you can imagine.  All are beautiful in God’s sight.  All bear His image.  And all of us together make for an incredible looking Christmas tree.  God bless us everyone.

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The Schwab family wishes each and everyone one of you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!!!

Anita, Kelly, Sally, Me

Anita, Kelly, Sally, Me