What if finding Christ in Christmas doesn’t have to be an uphill battle?
I saw something recently via a friend of a friend that you’ll now be able to see in our church building. It’s called a “CROSS-mas Tree.”
When I saw it, I thought, “That’s awesome… one more way to remind us what Christmas is all about. I must get my hands on that so others can see Jesus through it.”
It turned out that I was able to go one step further. I was so intrigued by the idea that I connected with its creator, Darren Howard, and his wife Karley to understand what went into it.
What was the inspiration for this?
D: I just kind of wanted something for my family and household to remember Jesus more specifically. The normal Christmas tree is a very symbolic thing for many people, but when I look at by itself I don’t get what it represents. When Jesus was born for us, He wasn’t just some special kid – He was our Savior. I wanted something Christmas-like that symbolized this, so I thought I’d make a cross-shaped tree as it would be more visually engaging. I had a lot of prodding of the Spirit to work on this. It was a real God thing.
How did that play out, from idea to making your first one?
D: I first had the idea about four year ago, right around Christmas. A whole year went by, and then the next year I got kidney stones and was not able to work for a week. God slowed me down and stopped me, reminding me of the idea. So I used that time to create the first prototype and used it at my house. I got married and things got busy again, but then I finally buckled down this year and realized it was time to make a hard push to get more of these out there. That came from people who saw it who kept asking me how much I saved doing it myself, and then i realized that there wasn’t anything of this size or nature out there. So we have a patent on its design and are hoping to serve churches and households with it.
K: We have a lot of friends over all the time, and it gives us another way of opening up to share Christ’s love with them as they come into the house. Not all of them are believers. It’s a great way to share the Gospel with them.
D: I also have a niece and a nephew who come over and I’ve never had anything that would visually draw them into Jesus and who He is. Everything is so visual in their generation. So it’s cool when they see a CROSS-Mas tree and have their own takeaways from it. They’ve asked questions about why it’s shaped like that, which then helps us help them to think about what Christ’s birth meant… what gift giving real represents… it’s not just about the presents. This pushes them into why do we give presents. It’s more of a visual aid as to why we do that.
I personally like how this can help our church focus in on Jesus. I imagine that will help countless people hone in on Him that much more as they sit in service.
D: There does seem to be a lot more Christians who magically pop up around Church. It helps the nominal Christian to transition into Christmas more. They see crosses and they get more serious. It engages them to challenge people more to considre the symbolism. I don’t think a lot of people realize the history of the evergreens, either… their needles are resistant to fire in ways other trees aren’t, They have the hardest of bark. They hold up against almost anything. In the old testament, they put pine branches in the Tabernacle. It’s such a great symbol of eternal, non-dying life. That symbolism wrapped up in a cross represents Christ. That’s stuff I never really realized until I did research
This is so simple, and yet so profound.
What do you think of it?
Would you want one for your church or youth room?