The Tree Of Life

Monday, December 22, 2014
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Listen while you read: "O Come All Ye Faithful"1 (Lyrics)

While growing up in Westmont, New Jersey, USA, I was like every child anxiously waiting for Christmas to arrive. Part of every celebration was to have a decorated tree. I remember repeatedly asking my dad when we were getting our tree. The answer was always the same: Soon.

After much anticipation, my dad went out on Christmas Eve and purchased the tree. It had its imperfections: one side had branches that were missing or deformed. After turning the deformed side toward the wall, the family decorated the tree with beautiful lights, balls, and tinsel. It was the perfect tree! I ventured a question: "Dad, why did you wait until Christmas Eve to get the tree?" He replied, "I was waiting for the price to go down; I got it for $2.00." I thought that my father was a smart man, and from that time on, a family tradition had begun.

While I miss those special times with my family, memories of our Christmas tree led me to contemplate something much better. Evergreen trees are chosen because they symbolize the eternal nature of Jesus. I was reminded of the eternal nature of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden and in the world to come:

Genesis 2:9 – The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (NIV)

Revelation 22:2b – On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (NIV)

Moreover, several verses in the book of Proverbs outline effective outcomes for those of us who embrace the tree of life in the here and now:

  • Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed (3:18 NIV)
  • The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. (11:30)
  • Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (13:12)
  • The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (15:4)

Therefore, what changes can we make that will show others the results of following the principles of the tree of life in our lives? In that way, we can present ourselves to others at home, work, or play, that they may also desire to experience the real joy of Christmas, not only during the holidays, but also every day of their lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, at this holy season, we pray that Your Spirit will empower us to display Your glory to others with the fruits of love, joy, and peace during this Christmas season. Thank You for coming to earth as a divine-human being, demonstrating Your love and concern for us by dying on the cross. In the holy name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing Parise. Have a Merry Christmas.

    Thank you Parise.
    Christmas Blessings be with you and all your loved ones.

    Very good devotional. Thanks for sharing it during this Advent season. Do continue to write.
    God bless and hope that you have a most blessed and very Merry Christmas!

    My Dear Parise another wonderful devotional. You have so many lovely memories. Thank you for sharing them with us and giving us such food for thought. May I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2015.

    This was a great piece you wrote for today. Last week we were just talking about how we got our tree on Christmas Eve. It was always a good memory to us. The reference to Genesis and Revelation was great.

    Lovely, Parise. Your message conjures up the warmth and love within your family – along with faith, trust and judgement.
    Happy Christmas to you, my dear email friend.
    God’s blessings upon your Christmas and your celebrations.

    Dear Parise. Thank you for your inspirational Christmas devotional. I almost didn’t buy a Christmas tree this year since our family will be away — BUT — last Friday evening as I passed my local country hardware store they had reduced their trees to $2.00. So I bought one. They say “great minds think alike” — so I guess your dad and I share a common “frugality’. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Dear Parise,
    The tree of life is indeed a meaningful symbol to reflect upon as we celebrate the Messiah’s coming into the world so that we may have the hope of eternal life. As you pointed out, the fruits of His Spirit will produce wisdom, righteousness, and healing if we are willing to follow the teachings of God’s Holy Word. Thank you for sharing these wonderful insights reminding us of the gifts that truly matter during this beautiful Christmas season.

    Your devotional brought memories back to times when I would go out with my Dad to help chose that perfect Evergreen. The tree that never changes colour.
    Oh what memories I have to treasure.
    Thank you for your use of bringing alive the Tree of Life. May we all learn from it and be able to spread the Word Of Christ.
    God Bless.

    A nice transition to the Tree of Life Parise.
    My dad was like your dad, especially when it came to price. If they were here now, I’m sure they would not have paid $30 for a live tree.
    However, it is sad many folks do not realize what the tree of life really symbolizes. Our prayers reach out to the lost who really have meaningless Christmas without Christ the Savior.
    Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.
    Merry Christmas.

    Dear Parise,
    I remember my brothers bringing home two scruffy Christmas trees that they bought with small change. They cut the best branches off the worst tree, and with an electric drill, bored holes in the best tree, and inserted the branches.
    We cut stars from tinfoil for decorations — and were very happy with our tree.
    Thanks for bringing the tree ot Eden together with the tree of life. And for thanking God for “demonstrating Your love and concern for us by dying on the cross.” In the holy name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
    The cross is called a tree in 1 Peter 2:24. It is a tree LIFE everlasting.
    I pray that God will bless you now and forever.
    Keep writing.

    Dear Parise,
    I enjoy the devotionals that you write. You have developed your writing skills intertwined with heartfelt thoughts and scripture.

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