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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




The Parable of the Christmas Tree

This past summer he had celebrated his fifth birthday. For such a young tree he was very strong, tall, and majestic looking. The men who came twice a year to trim and shape him had done their work well.  The pride he felt in his appearance made him stand even straighter. 

But for all he had to feel good about, it seemed that something was missing. He was becoming frustrated with the monotony of his daily life. Everyday it was the same old field with the same boring sights and sounds.

He had heard the rumors. He hoped against hope that they were true. It seems, so some of the trees said, that humans came every year and selected some of the special trees to go and live with them. The thought of living in a human house — to be warm in the winter — to be free of those pesky birds and bugs — to be given a place of honor — to have new sights to see...the very idea filled him with hope and excitement.

In December of his fifth year the rumors became reality. His hope changed to horror as he watched the first of the men take the trees near him. He had somehow thought they would stake all of the tree. It never occurred to him that they would cut them away from their roots. How could they stand? How could they eat? "Don't worry," he was told, "the men have tree stands that work even better than our roots. They will feed us from them and in them we can stand as straight and tall as ever.

Finally his day came. It hurt far more than he imagined to be cut away from his roots. The tree stand was real, but not all that he had hoped it would be. The food turned out to be a strange tasting water. It wasn't like the water that fell from the sky.

But it was nice to be warm. Best of all was the attention he was receiving. He had been (decorated with all kinds of things that were not nearly as pesky as those birds and bugs. Everyone who came in raved about how beautiful he was. What they said about him made him forget, for a while, the pain he felt.

However, things began to change. After the boxes were opened, the people didn't seem to care anymore. They were even complaining about his drying needles. The water stopped coming, but that didn't really matter. He had not been able to drink what was given him for  some time now. He was dying and he knew it. Now he realized that when he was cut away from his roots he was cut away from his life support.

We need to understand that Jesus and His church are our root system and when we cut ourselves away from the root system we cut ourselves away from our life support. However, unlike a tree, we can reconnect to our support system. We need to repent of our sins and get back on the straight and narrow road that leads to life!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches, apart from me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

For His Cause,
Ti m Woodward