Christmas Tree: Part Two

Last week we learned the first verse of the carol O Christmas Tree is celebrating the birth of the Christ child we as Christians are named after.

The tree we use to celebrate this birth by decorating it and singing about reminds us of the loyalty our Heavenly Father has demonstrated by sending Christ.

The color of this tree reinforces our hope in our Heavenly Father who has brought to fulfillment promises made concerning the arrival of the Christ child.

What can we learn from verse two of O Christmas Tree?

Traditional melody
Lyrics: Author unknown
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!
Your boughs are green
in summer’s clime
And through the snows of wintertime.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
What happiness befalls me when oft
at joyous Christmas-time
Your form inspires my song and rhyme.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
What happiness befalls me

What is happiness?

Turning to Merriam-Webster’s definition:

1a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy

b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

The pleasure and contentment we gain in the process of decorating Christmas trees should stem from reflecting on the meaning behind the gift of the Christ child.

Notice that Merriam-Webster’s definition includes a link to the word joy.

What is joy?

Clearly Merriam-Webster considers happiness and joy as synonyms.

Our verse today uses both words though.

The author states happiness is filling them because of the joyous Christmas-time.

Why is Christmas time considered a joyous time?

Reflect on the promise given in Isaiah:

ESV  Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Consider the reason the promise was given in Isaiah:

ESV  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Christmas time is when Christians celebrate the birth of this precious gift from our Heavenly Father.

This is where our truest happiness and joyous peace is meant to be found.

Why does the form of the tree inspire the author?

Merriam-Webster has one definition that I think explains the use of the word form: beauty.

Saying something or someone’s form is inspirational is another way of saying something or someone is beautiful to the eye of the beholder.

The author is continuing to reflect on the steadfast hope they mentioned in the first verse of the carol.

Reflection Questions:

  • Are you experiencing happiness and joy this Christmas time?
  • If so, how are you sharing that happiness and joy with those around you?
  • If not, how can reflecting on this carol and the scripture references help move you towards happiness and joy?
  • Do you know someone who is struggling to find happiness and joy right now? How can you gently encourage them with the hope you have in Christ?


Barbara Lynn

Do you have a topic, passage, or verse you are interested in studying? Put it in the comments below for consideration.


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