My husband and I are celebrating our 10th year of marriage this month. It is hard to believe it’s been 10 years. When we first got married, 10 years seemed like an eternity away. Now that we are sitting at the 10 year mark, our wedding feels like it happened yesterday. It’s funny how time deceives us like that.
The gravity of the years hit me when we were decorating the Christmas tree. Decorating the tree is one of my favorite family events of the Christmas season. The kids have a great time looking at all the ornaments and finding each one's perfect spot on the tree. My husband always finds his homemade childhood ornaments and puts them on the very front. While he is not looking, I sneak them to the very back. I enjoy putting the first ornaments we got as a couple on the tree. It is a set of 12 German ornaments that German Christians say no tree should be without. To us, the ornaments aren't just decorations. Each one has a special meaning or memory.
When we first got married, we didn't have a lot of meaningful ornaments. So, I went out and bought some decorative ornaments that held little significance so our tree would not look so bare. As we were unpacking the ornaments this year, I noticed that many of those ornaments are gone and replaced with ornaments we have collected over the years. Now most of our ornaments represent a special memory. Each one is a frozen moment in our history. They are a wonderful trip down memory lane telling the story of who we are.
As I thought about our ornaments on the Christmas tree, I realized what a beautiful symbol it is. The Christmas tree itself is a symbol of Christ's gift of himself to us. Its unchanging evergreen nature represents eternal life. It is a symbol of the new tree of life we have through baptism. What a beautiful thing it is to see our history on the tree of eternal life; to see our moments hanging on the branches of Christ's love; to see Christ touching and sharing each memory with us. And as we put our ornaments on the tree, we give Him our moments. We trust Him with our lives. We live for His promise of eternal life. And with His love intertwined in our past and holding onto our future, we give Him ourselves for His greater glory.
Originally written for Christmas 1999
Copyright 2010 Lori Miller
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