Did you know…
- That 30-35 million “real” (in other words, not artificial) Christmas Trees are purchased in the U.S. every year.
- Of these, 84% are pre-cut and 16% are cut-your-own.
- Retail sales for Christmas Trees will gross $1.3 Billion, or $41.50 per tree.
- The average Christmas Tree takes 7-10 years to mature.
- 21,000 Christmas Tree growers in the U.S. employ 100,000 workers.
- Christmas Trees have been sold commercially in the U.S. since 1850.
(Source: National Christmas Tree Association website)
Where did the idea of a Christmas Tree come from?
There are no clear answers, but a popular legend attributes the origin to Boniface who was called the apostle to barbarian Germany. About the year 700 A.D. Boniface is said to have confronted Germanic tribes sacrificing and worshiping before an oak tree. In his anger, he chopped down the oak tree and a fir tree grew up in its place. Boniface thereupon called on the pagans to convert from the gods of death, symbolized by the oak tree, to the God of Life, symbolized by the evergreen fir tree.
There are certainly no Biblical passages about the Christmas Tree, but there are nevertheless many passages about “trees” which are associated with the birth of Christ. These “Trees” include:
- The “Jesse Tree” which is referenced in Isaiah 11:1, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” This is the “Tree of Prophecy” reminding us of the many passages in the Old Testament which predicted the coming of Christ.
- Christ’s “Family Tree” which we find in Matthew 1:1-17. Here we see Jesus’ ancestry which included Gentiles and notorious sinners among others. Christ has certainly identified with all of us!
- The “Tree” of Calvary. Simeon reminded Mary that Christ’s birth would involve death and pain (Luke 2:34-35) so that by His death on the “Tree,” which is the cross, we could be delivered from the curse of sin (Galatians 4:13).
- The “Tree of Life,” which was lost to us because of sin, will now be restored because Christ was born as a man, crucified, resurrected and ascended to Heaven. He will come back to earth and reign as King. The lion will lay down with the lamb and peace will reign for 1000 years. Then He will reign forever in Heaven where the Tree of Life will grow and we will see His face and bask in His light in that endless Day! (Revelation 22:1-5)
I hope you will join us this Christmas season. Our candle light service is 5:30pm Christmas Eve.