Martin Luther and the Christmas tree

 

christmas-tree-light-2016-simon-peter-sutherland

Christmas tree light © 2016 Simon Peter Sutherland

Christians are divided over issues concerning the Christmas tree. Many regard the tree as part of a pagan celebration and not Christian.

Some Christians also claim that Jeremiah 10: 1-10 speaks against the Christmas tree? But I doubt that the text is speaking of anything like that, for the context of Jeremiah’s passage speaks more against the idol worship that then existed and cannot rightly be connected to a mere celebration of Christmas which did not begin until many centuries later.

There is a 16th or a 17th century claim made by the early Lutheran church that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first one to come up with the idea of having a Christmas tree in the home.

The story goes like this; Luther was one day in the woods and he saw the trees amongst the snow and thought it would be a good idea to cut down a tree and put candles on it to remind people of Christ’s birth?

The story itself has no actual historical evidence to support it, but really, I don’t see what evidence a person can find for such a claim. What would it matter anyway?

I think what I personally see from the Christmas tree is a reminder of Christ, who is the light of the world, crucified on a tree (1 Peter 2: 24) and that all His people who are crucified with Him and have died to self and are the light of the world (Matthew 5: 14)

That is what I see when I look at the Christmas tree, just a simple reminder of what Christians should be and a simple reminder of Christ who died for us.

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  1. #1 by Lacy on December 16, 2011 - 9:36 AM

    What about a happy 2012??

  2. #4 by m lavold on December 20, 2015 - 6:22 AM

    I was told in a Lutheran Church so many years ago I do not choose to remember how many that Martin Luther thought of the Christmas Tree to counteract a pagan festival that centered around some tree.

  3. #6 by Raymond Shilliday on December 9, 2018 - 4:41 PM

    I have to disagree. When Christians bring Father Christmas and/or the Christmas tree into their house or Gods house, they are showing they love their culture and their customs more than they love God.

    • #7 by simon peter sutherland on December 10, 2018 - 1:23 PM

      Thank you for your comment.

      Firstly, in response, might I ask what you “have to disagree” with?

      Do you disagree with my claim that “Christians are divided over issues concerning the Christmas tree.” ?

      Or do you disagree with my claim that “Many regard the tree as part of a pagan celebration and not Christian.” ?

      Or do you disagree with my claim that “Some Christians also claim that Jeremiah 10: 1-10 speaks against the Christmas tree?”

      Or do you disagree that tradition claims that Luther took a tree into his house?

      Could you clarify your disagreement?

      Also you have claimed; “When Christians bring Father Christmas and/or the Christmas tree into their house or Gods house, they are showing they love their culture and their customs more than they love God.” In response I ask; can you prove to me that when Christians put wooden or plastic replica trees up in their houses or in a chapel, they are loving customs or culture more than God? Can that rule not also be applied to chairs or TV, or radio, or books, or a church piano? Should a house be empty? Should a chapel be empty?

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