Christmas is a time that rich in tradition. One of those tradition is putting up a Christmas tree in our homes.
This custom of putting up a tree dates back to the Vikings years ago. During the long cold winters that the Vikings endured it was noticed that evergreen trees not only survived but thrived during the winter. So, as a symbol of hope, the Vikings would cut an evergreen tree town down and put it up in their homes. The tree became a symbol of hope.
In the 7th century, a monk, St. Boniface, traveled across Europe. On one occasion he came across some men who were about to sacrifice a young boy to their gods. Boniface demanded that they stop and walked up to a huge oak three and hit it. When he did, the tree miraculously fell. The three men saw this as a miracle of God. Then, Boniface pointed out an evergreen tree that was growing right behind the giant Oak. Boniface pointed out to these men that the evergreen was a sign of hope. Legen has it than in the years after that story was told, people began hanging evergreen trees in their homes.
Legend has it that Martin Luther was walking home on a dark December evening when he was struck by the beauty of the starlight coming through the branches of the many fir trees in the woods around his home. He was so captivated by the light that he wanted to duplicate it in his home. He tied a candleholder onto one of the evergreen’s branches, put a candle in the wooden holder, and lit it. Walking to the opposite side of the tree, he studied the flickering light. He liked the effect and attached several more candles in the same way.
Luther taught his friends and family that the color green represented the love of God and the candle represented the hope of God. So, today, as you look at your tree, be reminded that the green represents God’s love and the lights, represent the hope that the Christ child brought into the world.