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Christmas Devotions

December 20, 2011
By Terry Kok

 

Each week the Calvin Christian faculty gathers on Monday morning for devotions to start our week.  A teacher leads devotions and prays for the faculty, parents, and students.  Last week elementary teacher Kevin Vos shared about Christmas.  I thought it was appropriate for all at Christmas and wanted to share it with you.

“Whatever the true origin of the Christmas tree, it has become a part of our Christmas traditions.  In our family, the tradition of getting the tree usually involves me going to Costco, paying for the tree inside, returning outside, and then selecting a tree from the back of a semi-truck.  There is no pulling out multiple trees, holding them up for the family to check over, and selecting the perfect specimen.  Now that Costco sells trees, those days are gone.  Instead, I look at the bottom of the trunk of the tree to see if it’s fresh and to ensure that it will actually fit into our tree stand.  That is the extent of my search.

When I arrive home to the excitement of my two daughters, I am left to make a fresh cut on the trunk, untie the tree, and trim any low hanging branches.  Then, my wife holds the tree while I wrestle it into the stand.  Together, we place it in front of the picture window.  Then, the moment of truth arrives.  Everyone in the family stands back and assesses the tree.

This year, our tree gets mixed reviews from me, not that I really care.  I have done my fatherly duty, but still, I guess there is a part of me that cares.  This tree will not rank in the list of nicest trees in the Vos household Christmas tradition.  At least there is a nice full, symmetrical side that we can face toward the room.  However, the rest of the tree leaves a little to be desired.  There is one side that has a section of what appears to be branches that are half lush and half brownish green.  The other side is what I describe as dented.  It doesn’t have the nice lines that I’d like it to have.  The other side faces the window because it looks pretty sparse.

The girls notice nothing, of course.  To them, it is a tree worthy of the White House.  My wife couldn’t care less.  To her, the main thing is that the tree is up and the boxes of decorations that were strewn all over the living room are now put away and that in the midst of the decorating chaos that my daughters created, the only casualty was one glass ball.

With that in mind, yesterday I noticed the perfection of a fake tree that we have in our church.  It’s symmetrical and full.  It is the perfect tree.  I thought about our tree in comparison and how the dents and dead spots and sparse areas were nowhere to be found on the artificial tree in front of me.  That’s when I decided that my tree is a reflection of me.  I am not perfect.  I have areas in my life that could use some improvement because they currently appear to be half-dead or sparse or not balanced.  And it’s okay that my tree and I are imperfect, because the only truly perfect tree that I know of is the cross, and the only perfect life that I know of died upon it.  Because of that perfection, my tree, my life, is a reflection of the grace that flows from that one perfect tree on which my Savior died.

Everyday, but especially this Christmas, I hope that God’s grace is evident all around you.”