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A discarded dried-up Christmas tree gives insight to the true meaning of Good Friday.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. —Isaiah 42:1 (NRSV)
There is a long walk I take when I’m in northern California. It starts in Sausalito, meanders into Mill Valley and ends near Tiburon. The route veers from the road onto a path through wetlands. A number of small wooden bridges cross streams connected to the massive bay.
I was walking over one of these bridges on Good Friday, where I sometimes can spot a graceful crane. Floating down the river right toward me came a brown, dried-up Christmas tree.
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Had someone finally taken down their tree this week? Or had this sad reject been in someone’s backyard and just now been thrown in the stream?
The tree was a real, if strange, reminder that Christmas was over. All the joy over the special birth was gone, dried up like this useless Christmas tree. Today, the baby who’d been the source of all that rejoicing was the man nailed to a different kind of tree.
The carols had become dirges, the incense was replaced by myrrh to anoint His body, the candles extinguished in the dark of a day without light. And yet it was this event for which the baby had been born.
Jesus, give me the courage to journey with You from Your joyful birth to this grief-drenched day.
This article is an excerpt from Daily Guideposts.