I recently had to cut down a tree because is was dead and produced no fruit, not even leaves. I am budding now with confidence (due to how well the job went) and now have another tree in similar condition in my sights.
In the Bible trees are used as an analogy of people. It is clear that we fall into one of two categories as defined in Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
The question for today is, how do we do we ensure that we are good tree and not a corrupt tree? We must guard against the thought of admiring our fruit. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives a warning about trusting in what we see. Our focus should be on the root and not the fruit. As the root goes deeper the fruit will take care of itself. If we are not careful we can succumb to the pressure to appear Godly. And rather than developing a life rooted in Christ through prayer, we worry more about displaying the right behaviors. When that happens we become Christmas Tree Christians.
Christmas trees are beautiful and they draw attention to themselves in a way natural trees do not. They are decorated with tinsel and lights and covered with glittering glass fruit, but all of the ornaments are there to
hide the unappealing truth-Christmas trees are dead. (I know there are some exceptions.) They are dead, cut off from their roots, and sustained by a pot of water that must be refilled-perhaps every Sunday morning. Eventually every Christmas tree has its fake fruit removed. The appealing fruit is stored away for another year and the tree is thrown to the curb, hauled to the landfill or burned.
We don’t want to be Christmas tree Christians, we want to be like the tree described in Psalm 1:3 “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed.”