A Meditation While Shopping for a Christmas Tree

A Meditation While Shopping for a Christmas Tree
based on Isaiah 11:1

Every year I drag a dying tree into the house
And stick it in water spiked with preservative,
Ever-green symbol of the life in death that is ours in Jesus,
Leaving stuck in some forgotten forest
A stump where once a fir tree nobly stood.

Isaiah saw David’s family tree cut down
And made a decoration in Babylon’s living room.
Leaving a nothing but a stump,
Lifeless though very much alive,
A remnant Root buried deep in Israelite soil
Nourished by the Promise that God is true to His Word.

That stump of Father Jesse sprouted
When time was fully ripe,
First, a tender shoot named Jesus, springing fresh on virgin wood
Then a righteous Branch, making Jordan’s water sweet
Finally a fruitful Tree of Life,
Cross from which a dying world may eat
And live forever.

And so, dear friends, as you gather round your Christmas tree
And bask in all its glittered glory,
Remember that noble stump in some forgotten field,
Dead yet very much alive,
Waiting silently for resurrection day.

For we all will one day be cut down
Like just another Tannenbaum
And leave behind nothing more noble
Than a gravestone and a salty tear
Dabbed from the corner of a grief-filled eye,
Dead yet very much alive,
Soon to rise in the power of the Shoot named Jesus
On that Day when death is swallowed up in Life,
And the hungry lion’s mouth is filled with manger straw.

©2003 William M. Cwirla