The Tale of Three Trees, A Christmas Story
A book for Christmas and Easter, a timeless tale for anyday.
One of my favorite stories to read at Christmas is an American traditional folktale, The Tale of The Three Trees, as retold by Angela Elwell Hunt. I guess I had always considered it a Christmas story because of the symbolic references used with "the trees", and the fact that, traditionally, trees are just a part of our Christmas experience. Looking at the book anew, I have decided it is really also a story about Easter. For without Easter the Christmas story simply would not have much significance, now would it?
Our dreams can be realized, but not always as we might expect.
The story begins by telling of three trees, who dream of what their life will be like. Each has an idea of what they would like to become or do. Just as we have goals set and things we would like to do and become, the trees find out, like we do, the process of becoming might be a little different than what we might expect.
The first tree desired to be a treasure box and ends up as a mere feeding trough.
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2: 1-7
The second desired to be a strong sailing ship, and ultimately becomes a small fishing boat, carrying stinking fish.
"And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"
The third who wanted to remain planted and point Heavenward, as the tallest tree in the forest, is made into lumber that is fashioned into a cross.
"And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Matthew 27: 32-38
What appears to be unanswered dreams really are fulfilled with Jesus Christ.
At first glimpse their individual dreams seem to be unanswered. This is an illustration of one of my favorite scriptures, 1 Samuel 16:7, "for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
The Tale of Three Trees
The application of the Atonement, brings blessings to our lives.
Although each one of the trees reaches their potential in the end, their dreams are only made possible because of the gift of the Atonement. Their dreams are realized in full, but not in the way that they imagined. We are reminded that God is ever mindful of us and that he has a work for each of us to do that is glorious and beautiful, that is part of His magnificent plan. I can liken that to myself, in that my dreams can only be made a reality through the application of the Atonement in my life.
Mor Books By Angela Hunt
- Books for Children by Angela Hunt
The official web site of Angela Hunt, bestselling author of titles such as The Nativity Story, A Tale of Three Trees, and Uncharted
How to make our dreams realities...
True happiness is only available when we submit to the will of God, The Father, and align our will with His will. This submission requires us to remove pride from our lives and become meek, humble, teachable and willing to submit to all things that are given to us, whether they are in the form of blessings or trials.
This is exactly the path that Jesus Christ followed as he blessed the world with His ultimate sacrifice. Through his death and resurrection, He overcame the "world" and gave us the opportunity to do the same, as we follow Him.
As we learn to abide by the ways of the Lord and not lean on the "arm of flesh", we will come to understand that man's ways are not God's ways. As we learn to do as directed in the book of Proverbs , "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths", our ways will become His ways and all our dreams will be made beautiful realities.
The Full Story
- A Tale of Three Trees
Another version of the manuscript of the story of The Tale of Three Trees.
- The Christmas Story is about Christ
by In The Doghouse Without the Birth, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, there really wouldn't be an Easter Story. This HUB offers commentary on the events and symbols used to depict this great act of love.
- Easter: The Day Death Died
by Rob Jundt A short summary behind the real meaning of Easter and the significance it holds for all of us