Our Christmas tree went up on Friday night and we decorated it yesterday morning. That’s our usual way of going about this, get the tree one night and decorate the next day. It gives the tree a chance to “hang out” in warmer temps before the lights and decorations go on.
This year’s tree was looking a little “Charlie Brown-ish” when we first brought it home and during that hanging out phase there was a lot of conversation as to what it would look like when all was said and done. Too skinny. Not full enough. Not nearly enough room for all of the ornaments (and we have A LOT of ornaments). But there was really nothing for us to do but wait and see how things looked Saturday morning.
Well, things looked a lot better Saturday morning. Not perfect, but better. So the decorating began. We have a lot of ornaments to put on our tree – most of them handmade. Some from when Carol was a kid. Most from when our boys were small. All of those along with a lot of Tigger and Pooh ornaments (long story) and the tree gets pretty crowded, pretty quick. Carol’s pretty meticulous about where all of those decorations go, but when its done … it looks amazing.
I wonder if this is at all what God does for us – takes us when we are bare and not much to look at and turns us into something shiny, amazing and glorious.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that we are new creations. That all the old things have passed away to make room for new things. So in one sense the tree can represent what God has done for us. But in another sense it can’t express it entirely.
Because the tree is still the same tree underneath. In a few weeks we will take off the ornaments and lights to reveal – that same old, imperfect tree that we brought home Friday night. What God does for us in Christ is very different. We don’t just get “covered over” and made to look like something special. We get completely made over and made new from the ground up, from the inside out – that’s what a new creation is. Beneath the surface is a whole new you and a whole new me.
In Christ, we’re not just “decorated;” we are a new creation!