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Friday, December 23, 2011

The First Christmas Tree

This isn't a Biblical story; sounds like it was probably a medieval legend. Touching, though.

Many years ago--very many years ago--a small party of men landed from a boat on a rocky coast. The men came from Palestine and the inhospitable coast was the shore of barbarian England.

The party was headed by one Joseph of Arimathea and he came to tell the people of England, for the first of Jesus, who died for men and women.

The natives would have nothing to do with them--would not listen, or go near them or give them food. For days they traveled, chilled and hungry, until, despairing, Joseph sank down. As he did so, he thrust his staff into the ground. To the amazement of the Pilgrims, the staff began to bund; the buds turned to leaves and the fragrant blooms unfolded before their astonished eyes.

"It is a sign from God!" said Joseph. "He bids us have courage. Let us settle here and preach about Jesus."

They built a rough house and chapel alongside the little tree and many years later that house was rebuilt with beautiful Gladstonbury abbey.

But the tree lived all through Joseph's life and long after, and it is said that it blossomed every Christmas eve.

Such, friends, is the beautiful legend of the world's first Christmas tree. And that is why our little children's Christmas tree cannot be bare of branches, but must be green--blooming.

Blooming, as blooms the eternal love of the Man of Galilee for all humanity.

--The Colville Examiner, Washington, December 24, 1921, Page 5

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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