Editor's note: "A pandemic advent: the arrival of a Savior for all" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.

November 30 – A Christmas tree analogy

Isaiah 6:1–7:9, 1 Peter 2:13–25

When I was younger, one of my family’s traditions was decorating the Christmas tree. This was always done one night right around the end of November or early December. We would start by getting our artificial tree (yes, we were fake tree people) out of our attic and begin to set it up. This meant first trying to find out which parts went with which and then having to “fluff” the tree, which involved spreading out all the fake branches to try and make it look as real as possible. Yet no matter how hard we tried, one could always see the metal spine holding it all up. The final step was hanging the ornaments on the tree. This is the part that was the most fun because you got to see an ordinary, dull, fake tree come to life.

While this is always a fond memory that I have of Christmas time, the tree got me thinking this year. First, the assembly of the tree reminds me of our lives. Sometimes in life, you may feel just like a pile of scrap metal, conspicuously standing in full view of the world. You may appear without purpose and as if there is no way that anything can come from your seemingly random pieces. Yet through Jesus’ death on the cross, He has taken those pieces of your life and assembled them into something beautiful. He restores our designed purpose and beauty.

Not only does Jesus restore us and forgives us all our sins, He also adorns us in unbelievable beauty. Even better than ornaments on a tree, Jesus puts on us his royal garments of righteousness. We become heirs to His throne. Our Lord and our God came down and took on flesh so that He might die for us so that me may live forever with Him.

Jesus takes us as ugly, useless lumps of metal and restores us by atoning for our sins. Then He decorates us by giving us His righteousness and therefore claiming us as His own. During Advent, I have always held the memory of building the Christmas tree with joy, but connecting it with Jesus’ love and forgiveness helps me keep my eyes fixed on the true meaning of this season.

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