Christmas reminds us God delights to carry out His greatest works through humble means. The fictional story of the first Christmas tree illustrates this truth well: Once there was a forest of majestic pines in the far, far East. Most of the trees grew tall, but one tree lacked the glory of its peers. It stood no taller than a kindergarten child.

Each day, the tall trees surveyed the sprawling hills about them and discussed current events. Because of its low stature, the little tree knew nothing of what went on in the world beyond the forest, so it relied upon the other trees to pass on important information.

On one winter night, the tall trees made no small commotion amongst themselves about something they had seen in the nearby village. Straining to hear them, the little tree asked its tall neighbor what had happened. The tall tree said something about a king who would be born, but the little tree didn’t fully understand.

Suddenly angels came and filled the sky with light and music. The king had been born, and the entire countryside, including the trees, began to sing His praises. The sounds grew louder as the angels approached the forest. The little tree bowed its head in fear, but then a gentle hand touched it. It was an angel. In her soft voice, she gave it, the very smallest among the trees, an exclusive invitation to serve as gift-bearer for the heavenly hosts.

The little tree accepted the angel’s invitation, and all the angels decked it with their precious ornaments. Then another angel carried the tree to the feet of the Christ-child. This little, humble tree began a tradition which continues to this day.

In this story, it was not the tallest and strongest of the trees, but the shortest and weakest, which was chosen worthy to be presented as a gift to Jesus. Let this story remind you no gift is too small to present to Him — be it time, talents, finances, or even yourself. He accepts anything offered with a pure heart. What is holding you back?

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.