"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in
Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. And being found in
human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to
the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
The hot cocoa was poured into the thermos.
The blankets were ready. We had a few Christmas CDs already waiting in the car. It was time for two things: driving around town looking at Christmas lights and Belhaven University's “Singing Christmas Tree”. First, we grabbed dinner, giving us the energy to give delightful commentary and suggestions about the Christmas lights we saw all throughout town. Some of the houses would make anyone kin to the Griswold's proud, while others seemed to be related to Ebenezer Scrooge or inspired by the Twilight Zone, only causing us to scratch our heads and ask, “Why?”
After observing memorable light displays and giving our personal feedback, our next stop was Belhaven University.
The first weekend of December on the soccer fields, Belhaven continues a tradition that has been going for 75+ years:
the Singing Christmas Tree. Before us was a wooden bleacher platform stretching thirty-five feet into the air in the shape of a Christmas Tree. What’s the appeal? The Belhaven Choir adorned themselves in white robes, tinsel tiaras, and lights on the wooden bleachers and for the next hour sang wonderful Christmas hymns and carols. Of course, you had “Jingle Bells”,
“Frosty the Snowman”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and many others, but the performance wasn’t
Christmas without “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and the grand finale
(which my wife sang at the top of the tree in 2008 during her time at Belhaven) “O Holy Night”.
I’ve gone to the Singing Christmas Tree for many years. It is a wonderful tradition to keep during Christmas.
The reason I go back is not because of the impressive light display while the choir sings, the hot cocoa in our thermos, or the blankets to keep us warm—I keep going back because it is a reminder of what Jesus has done for me. It is a reminder of everything he went through during his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. You can only sing about a snowman for so long. You can only say “Happy Holidays” for so long. BUT with Jesus, there is eternal joy and eternal traditions that never fade away. Why do we decorate a Christmas tree every December? Why do we put lights on our houses? Is it because there’s nothing else to do? Is it simply the cultural “norm”, or are we celebrating and commemorating something far superior?
Christmas is a time where we are reminded (more than usual) that we are what we are
not because of anything we have done, but as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, because of God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10).
As Timothy Keller writes, “The Light of the world descended into darkness in order to bring us into God’s beautiful light.”
The light of Christmas, the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, our Yahweh and KING.
Let’s remember that and never be ashamed to say, “Merry Christmas!”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.