The Parable of the Christmas Tree
‘Tis the season for lights and decorations, trees and candy, hot chocolate and presents!
Our children persuaded us to decorate the tree a few nights ago, just after the Thanksgiving turkey had been consumed. On went the Christmas music, the kettle was fired up for hot cocoa, and the children (please don’t tell them I told you this…) were dancing in the kitchen. Yes, my boys – at least the younger ones – were dancing. All was merry and bright.
Bright, that is, until we tried to turn on our pre-lit tree. You know the kind – the “unscented,” mess-free version of a Christmas tree that comes with lights attached. Unfortunately, certain sections of our tree failed to perform their “pre-lit” duties. The result was a Tigger-esque tree, a sort of half-hearted, striped effect. Not quite what we were looking for.
A search for the defective bulb yielded nothing, and replacing one empty spot with a bulb from another set did not work, since the extra bulb was made by a different manufacturer. This strand was only going to give off so much light.
So in the end, long after my dancing cherubs were dreaming of sugarplums, the only solution was for me to string a second set of lights through the bare spots, using an extension cord. The tree now complete, I joined my family in dreamland.
The next morning, I happened to be praying in the room where we had set up our tree. I also happened to be praying about the power of God to heal, to bring revival, to reach the multitudes with His power. As He often does, the Lord surprised me by connecting the ordinary stuff of my life to the extraordinary stuff of His.
Using the “Tigger tree” as a parable, He said this: ‘Tis the season to be connected to My power. Now is the day of salvation, now is the time (see 2 Corinthians 6:2). And it's going to take more than just one strand to light the world!
God is the source of all power, the “electrical outlet” we plug into when we are saved. That divine outlet contains unlimited power and resources, available to anyone who connects with Him. Like my pre-lit tree, our world automatically lights up and shines when we plug into Him. Our connection with the Holy Spirit gives us a measure of His light and power in our lives.
However, there are still areas of our lives where the light does not yet shine. There are areas of the world where His power has not yet been seen. To make sure we ourselves are shining brightly, we must appeal to our Manufacturer to restore any defects or brokenness we may have. But God also wants to extend our reach, just as the addition of an extension cord brought more light to my tree.
Believers are the “power cord” from heaven’s light to earth’s darkness. Several connected strands will bring more light to the world than just one alone. Where we need more power, God can plug us in with others who will help extend our reach.
Next year, I’ll be in the market for a brighter tree. And it’s my prayer that next year, we believers will be more connected than ever – to His power, and to each other. I pray that His power will increase throughout His Body so that we will have a greater impact on our world. I pray that He’ll help us radiate His glory in greater measure.
I'm going back to decorating my tree now. And I'm singing right along with the kids: May your days be merry… and bright!
In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16, NIV
c. Deborah Perkins, 2014
Deborah Perkins is passionate about helping people "connect" with God. She writes about knowing God and hearing His voice at HisInscriptions.com. Follow Deborah on Twitter@DeborahSPerkins, or click here to read more of her blog.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.