Christmas Trees: Reminder of New Heaven & Earth
This Advent blog post is one of a series of devotions from the Teaching through the Trimmings devotional. The devotions use the sights of Christmas to remind us of Jesus Christ. To download the complete devotional, please click here
Christmas time makes some people hopeful, happy, and excited to celebrate. However, songs like ‘Blue Christmas’ remind us that for some people, Christmas is a sad time. Christmas can remind some people of loss, stress, broken dreams, and causes them to doubt God. People may see bad things in the world and wonder, ‘where is all of the ‘peace on earth and goodwill to people’ that Jesus was supposed to bring?’ They may ask, ‘if God is good, why isn’t He stopping the bad things?’
However, the Good News of Jesus’ birth is for all people struggling with life’s problems. Jesus came to a nation ruled by its enemies. He was born to a poor young woman and her fiancée. His birth was announced to people who were looked down on and not trusted by others. He came to a people who hadn’t heard from God in 400 years and wondered if God had forgotten them. Christ was born during troubled times to a burdened people. Jesus’ birth is Good News of great joy to all people – both the happy and the sad.
To the question, ‘what is God doing about all the bad in the world?’ Christ’s birth answers ‘everything!’ Your Christmas tree can remind you of the tree of life in heaven where God will completely end all pain and make the whole world new.
Tree of Life in the First Book of the Bible
We first read of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve lived in peace with God (Genesis 2:9). Their peace with God ended when they disobeyed Him. Their sin caused them to be apart from God and to leave the Garden. Trouble, problems, pain, fighting, hatred, sickness, and death came into the world as a result of sin.
Jesus came to save us from our sin. As God Himself, Jesus bore our sin on the cross and clothed us in His righteousness to give us peace with God. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead and made Him King over all things to continue His work of making all things new. At the time picked by the Father, Jesus will come again and give us a New Heaven and New Earth.
Tree of Life in the Last Book of the Bible
We also read of the tree of life in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. The Lord gives His servant John a vision of what this New Heaven and New Earth will be like. The people of God will again be near the tree of life. John writes,
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:1–5).
In the New Heaven and New Earth, sin’s pollution and power will be destroyed. We will no longer be separated from God but God will be with us. Sickness and death will end and we will be made whole. Pain will be replaced with joy. Tears will cease and God will comfort us. God will right every wrong. Night time will end because God will be with us and be our light. Advent reminds us of our longing for Christ’s second coming.
Remember: When you see a Christmas tree, think of the joy Jesus gives us now and the perfect joy we will share with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth.
Discuss: What are you most looking forward to in the New Heaven and New Earth?
Pray: Dear Lord, please help all of those hurting this Christmas. Please relieve their sadness and give them the hope of Jesus’ Good News. Please show me how I might help someone who is hurting and show them your love. Amen.