O Christmas Tree: Part Three

A Sublime Lesson

Spending time pondering the meaning of a familiar Christmas carol, O Christmas Tree, has revealed a depth of meaning to this tree song previously overlooked.

In everyday conversations I seldom hear the word sublime used.

The first definition of sublime is: lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner.

Lesson, though, is frequently used in a variety of ways.

But did you know that the first definition of the word lesson is: a passage from sacred writings read in a service worship?

Why does verse three of O Christmas Tree use these two words?

First read the verse:

Traditional melody
Lyrics: Author unknown
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
– – –
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort
through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson.

The author of this verse indicates that the boughs of our Christmas trees can teach a lesson.

This tree song reveals the lesson with the following words:

That constant faith and hope sublime

Lend strength and comfort through all time

What does it mean when we describe something as constant?

Something that is continually occurring or recurring is a good description from Merriam-Webster

What is Faith?

Within the context of our author’s intent a good definition is:belief and trust in and loyalty to God, and especially His son, Jesus Christ.

What is Hope?

A desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment is a fitting definition for hope within the context of O Christmas Tree.

What does constant faith and hope provide?

Keep in mind the term bough typically means a primary branch of a tree.

This means this is a substantial branch that supports the structure of the tree.

Christ  will be the strength and comfort you need in any situation if you put your faith and hope in Him:

ESV  John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

What is the Sublime Lesson of O Christmas Tree?

Our Christmas tree that we decorate and the song we sing about it is a way to exalt our faith and hope in God having fulfilled his promises.

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.

Reflection Questions:

Do you believe in God?

Do you believe in Christ?

Do you have constant faith and hope in both God and Christ?

How do you demonstrate this in your daily life?

Do those around you see the strength and comfort you have in God and His Son? Why or why not?

How has reflecting on this simple tree song about Christ strengthen or comforted you?

How will you share your strength and comfort with those around you?


Barbara Lynn

PS I will be taking a week or two off from posting to enjoy time with family. May your Christmas and New Year’s weekends be renewed with a strong and comforting sense of the Lord’s presence in your heart and home.

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