|A "Charlie Brown" tree|
Recently, a Christmas tree in Reading, Pennsylvania, made the news, not because it exemplified the best but because in many people’s words, it looked ugly, like the “Charlie Brown.” Christmas tree in the movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas. As children in the movie made fun of Charlie’s tree, so did the people of Reading make fun of the town tree. read more
Someone had picked out a beautiful tree but rain made the area so soggy that machinery large enough to take a city-sized tree could not get to it. Instead, they had to settle for a pathetic Norwegian Pine.
People criticized the substitute tree to the point that the town officials decided to replace it when the land dried, and the choppers could get to the originally picked tree. A few things changed their minds. First of all, the 50-foot scraggly tree looked good with its lights turned on. Someone had had some skill in decorating. Second, not replacing it would free up workers to instead prepare for a predicted ice storm, and third, they came up with a better plan.
The new plan is to embrace what they have and make it an official “Charlie Brown’ tree. They hung one red ball on it just like in the movie. On December 20, an additional celebration is planned around the Charlie Brown theme with singing, reading of some of the Charlie Brown story, and decorating with compatible decorations. The town is also hoping for some tourism business from all the publicity that the tree has received.
This story reminds me of Jesus and what he does for us. He takes what we are no matter how scraggly and embraces us with his love. New decorations are added as he works inside our hearts to renew and change us, leaving us with hope for the future, a new purpose in life, and a desire to serve others. Yes, that’s what we are, “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees until God gets ahold and doesn’t let go. Then the celebration begins!
Note: In 2017, the mayor of Reading has decided to put up an artificial tree to avoid getting another unsatisfactory tree.