“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”
Jeremiah 10:3-4 (KJV)
How are you today? I hope you are well. My topic for today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations may not be a popular one. However, I think we are all called to evaluate ourselves, our actions, as well as the traditions we follow. I was researching verses for today’s post and I came across Jeremiah 10:3-4. It kind of surprised me. I have read the Holy Bible quite a few times and I hadn’t remembered this passage. Could it be that I didn’t remember it, because I didn’t want to remember it or maybe because I wasn’t ready to evaluate myself next to the words in this passage? I don’t know.
The words in Jeremiah 10:3-4, sound much like what we do in decorating Christmas trees. So, do we need to look at this tradition and evaluate whether or not we are really called to do it? Regardless of what we decide in the end, I do think it is a good idea to weigh what we do against God’s Word. Are we following and living in accordance to God’s Word?
The phrase that hits home for me in this whole passage is “For the customs of the people are vain.” Regardless, of whether we believe we are supposed to set up a Christmas tree as part of our celebration or not, I think if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that it is a vain tradition.
I mean, chopping down a tree purchasing one, whether fake or real, costs quite a bit of money. There is also the extra expense of decorating it, not to mention the extra high electric bill in having the lights on the tree. Do we really need to spend that money? Do all those (real) trees really need to die, just so we can enjoy them lit up and decorated for a month or so? The answer to both questions is probably, “no.” We probably do not need to spend that extra money and live trees probably do not need to die for such a tradition.
So, why do we put up a tree? It is tradition! And, this is what I pray we can all evaluate. Are our traditions good in the sight of God?
Full disclosure, if you read on in Jeremiah 10 and put this passage in perspective, it probably does not have anything to do with Christmas trees. It is more about making idols out of trees to worship, which is definitely bad in God’s eyes. Yet, this still doesn’t answer the question about our custom of decorating Christmas trees.
It touches my heart to bring this up, because we are called to be “in this world, but not of this world.” (See John 15:19 for example.) The world likes to “suck us in” to worldly traditions and beliefs. Yet, we are not of the world. We are called to act in accordance with God’s will for us. I do believe that celebration of Christmas (not just the decoration of trees) is very commercialized. In the commercialized world, the focus is definitely not on the birth of our savior.
However, I can’t say whether decorating a tree, as part of a Christmas celebration is right or wrong. I don’t see anywhere in God’s Word, where we are called to decorate a tree. Yet, the right or the wrong of it might be for each one of us to decide. I urge you, and I will as well, to pray about it and really examine whether or not it is right for you. Don’t just blindly follow along with everyone else, because it is tradition.
Thank you for giving us your Holy Word to show us the way to live. Help us to examine ourselves in accordance to you Word, and let us not be afraid to change, even if it is against our worldly traditions. Help us to pray before we act and let you guide us, instead of doing things our own way. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Jeremiah 10:3-4 (KJV):
*What does Jeremiah 10:3-4 mean to me?
*Is Jeremiah 10:3-4 talking about Christmas trees?
*Do I believe that decorating a tree for Christmas is vain?
*Do I believe we are called to decorate a tree for any reason?
*Do I let decorating a tree take the focus off of Jesus in anyway?
*Have I prayed about the rightness or wrongness of decorating a tree?
*Why do I decorate a tree?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here. I look forward to your comments and ideas. Please, let me know your thoughts by commenting below or feel free to contact me. Also, please pray for our Christmas ethics and practices. Let us put our focus on Jesus.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.