After enjoying my hot chocolate, it seemed like a good time to pack away the Christmas decorations.
Following family tradition, most of the Christmas tree ornaments are gifts from other people, or tokens to remember the year. I thought about the people over the years who’d given me the ornaments and remembered the events and memories evoked by them. The memories always bring such feelings of love and thanksgiving that I have nicknamed the Christmas tree ‘The Thanksgiving Tree’. Then I thought about the reason I had put them up in the first place. Among the ornaments on the Christmas/Thanksgiving tree were ornaments for my greatest thanksgiving ever — the birth of Christ. Unlike the decorations, Christ remains. Not as the baby remembered at Christmas, but as a Savior full of love for his own. As the Deliverer who gave up his life to save enemies. As the Shepherd who does not forget his sheep. As the Leader who will always guide. As the One who has authority over all creation.
There is now an empty space between the living room chairs where the tree used to be and there is no Christmas pyramid on the dining room table. Unlike the tree, Christ will not leave an empty space. But, as a faithful friend, he always stays.