What role for the Christmas tree?
Sir, – I notice more and more churches advertising Christmas tree festivals or exhibitions with a range of decorated trees on display in their sanctuaries.
What is the significance of the trees that they are displaying in relation to the doctrine of their faith, as I note that non-Christians, commercial businesses and even atheists also follow the same custom of putting up decorated trees?
The only verse I could find in the Bible concerning decorated trees was a section in Jeremiah 10:2-5 where God denounces the practice as futile: “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Do not follow the way of the Gentiles (pagans) . . . for the customs of the people are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails so that it will not topple.”
This bears a very close resemblance to the current practice of decorating trees for Christmas, but here we can see that such practices are very clearly pre-Christian and furthermore condemned by God.
How can the churches reconcile this practice in their buildings today which many call the house of God?
In the light of the above verses I wonder would Jesus (Yeshua) condone this practice supposedly in honour of his birth?
Just food for thought for the Christmas Day conversation. – Yours, etc,
Bangor, Co Down.