The Greatest Christmas Tree
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 by Frank Shortt

Recently, a friend of mine of many years said, “We don’t see the nativity scenes we used to see in front of houses! Aren’t there Christians anymore?”

The greatest ‘Nativity Scene’ men could ever see would be a newborn human being, who once lay on the sidewalk with flies blowing around his cracked and bleeding lips, his clothing in rags, barely keeping the cold from his body! Then, to see that person leading a useful life for society, whole, and in their right mind, that is the greatest Nativity Scene that could ever be imagined!

The greatest ‘Lights’ mankind could ever see would be the coming together of all people who call America home at this time. To see mankind working together instead of pulling two different directions would be greater than any string of lights on any city street. To hear men building each other up instead of pulling each other apart would outshine any display that Park Avenue or Central Park could produce.

Mankind is, in essence, a fir tree. When I see children of different ethnic groups singing or playing together, this is the beginning of the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Then, when I see their parents of different backgrounds talking and laughing on the playground, this adds many ornaments to the tree. When children begin displaying a talent that they have  been honing and do it exactly how he or she was taught, this is another addition to the branches. When we all decide that doing what is right for all humanity we can begin to see the Christmas tree gleaming! Are we all so caught up in ego that we forget the importance of community? Are we destined to become a society where we fear our nearest neighbor just because that neighbor does not have the same color skin that we were born with?

Now that we have added all the ornaments to the Christmas tree, it begins to have a greater glow. We have added the warmth of children playing together, singing together, and doing crafts together. We have added the spark of watching parents of different ethnic groups enjoying the play of their children. We have added hope of one day seeing people getting along instead of stringing apart. We have added a dream of men building each other up instead of ripping into each other and pulling each other down! We have decided that we are all of the same blood no matter where we were born! But somehow, there needs to be something added to the tree!

A great man once said, “There are three things of great importance to the human kind. There is faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love!” Faith is the foundation of all our dreams and aspirations. Without faith, we would not even arise in the morning. We would never accomplish anything we attempted to do. Faith cannot be seen with the natural eye. It is just that something that assures us that whatever we do will be the right thing if we have the right attitude to begin with. Hope is that essence of standing outside the department store window wishing we had all the beautiful things the store had to offer. Hope, is believing that our motives are right in order for faith to kick in. Now we come to the most important ingredient of all: Love!

Love does not belittle its neighbor! Love does not steal from its neighbor. Love does not kill its neighbor! Love does not steal its neighbor’s wife or husband! Love covers a multitude of mistakes that others make. Love will overcome many more obstacles than hate! Hate cuts down, Love builds up!

The most important ornament, that can illuminate the whole tree, is Love! There is nothing mankind can produce that will ever outshine love. If we all want peace this Christmas, then by all means, let’s begin to show love for everyone!

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