trimming the tree
"I will plant in the desert the cedar." —Isaiah 41:19
A traditional Christmas controversy is whether to have a real or artificial Christmas tree. Some people even get potted rather than cut Christmas trees. God opts for several live trees — "the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive...the plane tree and the pine" (Is 41:19). The Lord does not choose to pot or cut His trees but to plant them in the desert (Is 41:19). This would mean the trees will die for lack of water, but the Lord has this already figured out. He "will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water" (Is 41:18).
Some people have rather elaborate Christmas decorations and trees. Some churches try to see how many trees and poinsettias they can get into the sanctuary. However, the Lord outdoes all these folks. He decorates the desert with trees, marshes, and springs. He re-creates the face of the earth (see Ps 104:30).
The Lord would like to do some Christmas decorating in your life. He wants to plant new life in your heart by changing your deserts of sin and selfishness into a land of flowing rivers and life-giving fountains (see Is 41:18). Repent and let the Lord trim and decorate your tree.
Prayer: Jesus, trim me through Your word (see Jn 15:2-3).
Promise: "Heed carefully what you hear!" —Mt 11:15
Praise: St. Juan Diego was decorated by having his obedience rewarded with the image of Our Lady on his tilma.
Reference: (Let the Lord plant new life in your heart at Christmas by reading the Bible every day. We have several tape series to help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is forty audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is thirty-two audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or seventeen video tapes starting with V-21.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010
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