It is always sad when the day comes to take down the Christmas tree.
I love the light and sparkle of the tree, I love the beauty and feeling of celebration it imparts to the house. But Christmas trees need maintenance and ours has reached that point.
Several years ago, due to my allergy to trees, we purchased a pre-lit artificial tree. It was and still is beautiful.
Because we loved the look of trees we remember as children, we added to the hundreds of tiny white lights, several strands of colored C-7 lights (LEDs, of course, so as not to melt our tree.)
Over the years some of the colored lights had blown out and needed to be replaced. Some of the white lights too had gone dark. I used a handy light-repair gun to bring them back to life a few times, but now they are dark for good. In an effort to get the tree decorated on time, I added new white lights, but left the malfunctioning ones on the tree. I simply covered the problem, I didn't resolve it.
Now the time has come to strip the tree of all its lights and restring it. I confess, I am not looking forward to this project, but I know better than to just wait until the end of the year to do it. Then I will be ready to get the tree up and won't want to take the time and effort to remove the lights.
It isn't enough to just cover the broken lights, they need to be replaced. I must remove the ones which came on the tree and wind new ones along the branches. When finished the tree will be bright and shining again with no traces of the previous brokenness.
The tree reminds me of ourselves before we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are as dark as my Christmas lights. Sometimes we try to hide that darkness by putting good lights, good deeds, good thoughts along with the dark, but we are still dark. When we believe on the Lord by faith, He doesn't just cover up our sins, He washes them clean.
"Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow,
though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18
He not only washes away our sins, but the Bible says that in some marvelous way I don't think I will ever understand, He has removed our sins "as far as the east is from the west," and indeed He says He remembers them no more.
". . . for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more." Jeremiah 31:34.
May we keep in mind here at the beginning of this new year, and indeed, all year through, that our sins are washed away, our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west, because they were laid upon the Lord Jesus.
"All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6