But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23.
In the 1850s, Charles Dickens described a Christmas tree of that time as being decorated with miniature furniture, dolls, costume jewelry, tiny musical instruments, toy guns, swords, fruit and candy. If you fast forward to the 21st Century and do a search on Google, you will find 2,110,000 results for a search for “Christmas ornaments.” You can find so many different kinds of Christmas ornaments it would be impossible to list them all. For the governmental minded, there is available the Whitehouse 2005 James A. Garfield ornament or the Whitehouse Cameo ornament. Perhaps you are an avid watcher of the news, then you might like to have the Fox News ornament on your Christmas tree. The ornament proclaims that it is “fair and balanced.” Whatever your interest may be, I am sure that there is a Christmas tree ornament for you.
The Bible uses the tree at times as a metaphor for people. Here are some of the Scriptures where this is found: Psalm 1; Psalm 104:16; Matthew 3:10-11; and, Matthew 7:16-20. With this in mind, and since it is the Christmas season – what kind of ornaments should we have on our Christian tree?
In the book of Proverbs we are told that, we should have the ornament of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7-9 and 4:7-9). In 1 Peter 3:3-4 we are told that we should have the ornament (KJV) of a meek (or gentle) and quiet spirit.
Some of the early decorations of Christmas trees were different kinds of fruit. Nowadays you may still see some fruit on Christmas trees, but usually they are plastic or ceramic instead of the real thing. On our Christian tree, the tree of our life, we want some fruit hanging from the branches, as well. The apostle Paul gives us a list of the fruit we should have in Galatians, it is the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering (or patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” What a beautifully trimmed tree it would be to have all of the fruit of the Spirit hanging from its branches!
If someone was looking at your life as if it were a tree, what would they see? Would they see wisdom wrapped around your life in a beautiful sweep? Would they see like snow a covering of a gentle and quiet spirit? Would there be for all to see all the various fruit of the spirit from love to self-control hanging in just the right places from your branches?
During this Christmas season whenever you see a Christmas tree use it to remind you of your own personal Christian tree. Is your tree trimmed with all the beautiful ornaments of the Spirit? Or, are there some ornaments missing from your branches?
What better time than Christmas to commit yourself to growing in the Lord? Grow in the Lord so that next year and every year your tree will become more and more beautiful.
(The Bible sometimes uses the metaphor of a tree to describe people. If you were a Christmas tree what kind of ornaments would be hanging from your branches?)