• Dwight Dunn

Christmas Tree: Reminder of Temptation

This Advent devotion is one installment of the Teaching through the Trimmings series. The devotions use the sights of Christmas to remind us of Jesus Christ.

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown searches for a tree to include in their Christmas Play. Charlie Brown doesn’t pick a big, full, and beautiful tree. He chooses a small, straggly, and drooping tree.

Not all trees grow big and beautiful and they can’t stay that way forever. Some trees are sick with disease, damaged from storms, and falling apart from decay. God didn’t make trees to be like that.

Likewise, God made people as good, alive, and happy by knowing Him. But people didn’t stay the way God made them. People doubted God and stopped loving and listening to Him as they should. People are no longer the model or picture of God they were created to be. They try to be happy without loving God.

When God created the world, He gave the first people, Adam and Eve, a garden full of wonderful plants, creatures, and trees. God told them that they could eat the fruit of any tree except one. The Bible says,

“the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep

it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every

tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not

eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Genesis 2:15–17).”

Adam and Eve had a full garden they could enjoy and just one tree they couldn’t eat from. But Adam and Eve felt pulled to eat from that one tree thinking they would become like God. Feeling led to do wrong is called temptation. Adam and Eve were tempted to not believe God and wanted to do things their own way. They didn’t listen to God’s wise instructions and they ate the fruit from the tree God told them not to.

Because they disobeyed, the Lord made them leave the garden and they became separated from God which is a type of death. Adam and Eve were no longer good, alive, or happy like they thought they would be. They were no longer the picture or model of God they once were. They couldn’t fix this problem – they needed God to rescue them from their trouble. Looking at our Christmas tree can remind us of the trouble giving into temptation brings and how we need God’s help.

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus says that Charlie Brown’s sad looking tree just needed some love. His friends cared for the droopy tree and made it beautiful. Likewise, God promised to love and forgive people and make them alive and happy in Him again. God’s wonderful promise involves another tree that we will read about in our next devotion.

Remember: As you see needles falling off your fresh cut tree or a limb sagging on your artificial tree, remember that we aren’t the picture or model of God that He made us to be. Thank God for His promise to love and forgive us.

Discuss: What kind of trouble did Adam and Eve’s disobedience cause? Why do you think God promised to help Adam, Eve and us out of trouble?

Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for never giving up on us and for loving us even when we disappoint you. Please help us to understand and believe your promise to help us. Amen.

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