A confession: this morning, Christmas Eve, dawned, and our family had still not gotten our Christmas tree. We traditionally trek to a local Christmas tree farm every year in early December to pick our tree. But with work on the Christmas musical two weeks ago and the cold, wet and sickly weekend we had last week we hadn’t gotten around to it.
This morning dawned bright and clear. In hope that was perhaps a bit too naive we drove to the Christmas tree farm.
Closed . . .
We drove to another.
Closed . . .
So, we drove to Kroger and we saw this: the last Christmas tree left. Bent, shaggy and abandoned it stood crookedly on its base.
Blake liked it, we were desperate, so we went ahead and got it. Below is a brief visual history of this event:
Blake likes it
It’s a gem!
Whoa! And that included the stand!
When I went to the checkout counter to say that we wanted the tree, I got a nice, long blank stare from the checkout girl. She was also totally impressed when I wanted to take a picture.
Dang, I’m looking good . . .
Andrew, Bethany and Molly are thrilled.
“Great tree, dad!”
All kidding aside, it was a fun event, and one we’ll remember.
And it reminded me that God often speaks to me through the most comical or mundane of circumstances. This tree was the last one picked at this very well-trafficked Kroger. In the eyes of the Kroger management it wasn’t really worth anything (remember, the stand it was on was part of the $9.99 price).
But we wanted it. We needed it; our house needed a tree for Christmas. We brought this little tree home, and I carefully re-cut its bottom trunk and trimmed its wayward branches. We brought it inside, mounted it, put on some Christmas music, and began decorating it.
It turned out, actually, to be a pretty good looking tree.
Lord, you spoke to me through this! Because this tree is me. Last night (well, really, in the deep hours of this morning) as I was driving home from the Thinklings Moot I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for all you have done. You’ve redeemed my life, blessed me beyond blessing, and restored the years the locust ate.
I am this tree. I was discarded and unwanted. But you chose me; not for my beauty, not because I had any grace or nobility on my own.
God chooses us. He brings us home, and he fills us with his light, and decorates us with the ornamental beauty of his holy fruit, his gems, his crowns. He gives us a place of honor in his house: he calls us sons and daughters.
The world doesn’t get this. It looks on with a blank stare of incomprehension. Because God’s grace is incomprehensible.
For consider your calling, brothers:
not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,
not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
God chose what is low and despised in the world,
even things that are not,
to bring to nothing
things that are . . .
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (ESV)
Maybe that’s why God came to us in a package that was poor, obscure, and seemingly insignificant. We didn’t recognize him, and had no room in the inn for our precious Savior.
But he has room in his home for us. Jesus, precious Lord, our new born King. Thank you!