In Glastonbury, England there is a Christian monument that goes back 2,000 years–to the time of Christ. It is called “The Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury” and thousands of people visit it every year. Perhaps, we might literally call it a true Christmas Tree. That is, a ‘Christ Mass’ tree: people visit to celebrate what Christ did (his life, teachings, and death). In fact, I wish the traditional Christmas Tree we erect here in America and decorate during the holidays had it’s legend rooted in the Glastonbury Tree and not paganism, but that is another story.

As legend has it:

Saint Joseph (of Arimathea as told in in John 19:38–the guy who buried Jesus in his own tomb) travelled to this spot after Christ was crucified, taking with him the Holy Grail of Arthurian folklore.

He is said to have stuck his wooden staff – which had belonged to Jesus – into the ground on Wearyall Hill before he went to sleep. When he awoke it had sprouted into a thorn tree, which became a natural shrine for Christians across Europe.

To add to its sacred status, the tree ‘miraculously’ flowered twice a year – once at Christmas and once at Easter. It survived for hundreds of years before it was chopped down by puritans in the Civil War, but secret cuttings of the original were taken and planted around the town. –[online source]

But thee tree is no longer there because vandals cut it to pieces in the middle of the night. (see picture below)

Whether the legend is true or not is irrelevant. Personally, I don’t care for superstitious-type things like this. I am always cautious about them because I wonder if we are in jeopardy of idolatry (to use a churchy term): worshipping what is created rather than the Creator. Again, that is another story. Either way, this much is true: the tree is likely 2,000 years old and means a great deal to a great deal of people.

I think this is a terrible, tragic, and offensive act.

What kind of pathetic, disgusting, and reprobate person/people would do this? I have to wonder where the times we are living in are headed. I must confess that, to me, this is a bit foreboding. Behind closed doors when I am talking to close friends I’ll say over and over, “I think we’re living in strange times.” That is code for, “I think the world is teetering on a precipice of chaos.”

Sorry to harsh on your Christmas vibe, but that’s the truth. For example, you won’t see this happening to a Muslim Holy place. I have to ask, why is that? Are people afraid of Islam? And if you did, this story would be cycling through the news like a brushfire. It would be all about how intolerant we Westerners are, it’s a hate crime, and how awful Christian extremists are (that would somehow be worked in). Some stupid Congressman would probably propose some meaningless legislation that would waste time and money. (We would have to borrow $30 billion from China to pay for it, too.)

It may sound strange, but I often wonder (when things out of balance like this happen) if a major civil rights struggle and intolerance issue of the near future will somehow involve Christians (being the oppressed one, that is). I suppose many dissidents will say we had it coming, because of history and all.

What does change for me?


I’m still going to get up, go to work, and bring my kids to McDonald’s on the weekends. But I am also ready to endure, not be vengeful, and try to be a good example of the temperance, patience, and grace of Jesus. As I have said, when the world crushes me with pain, I will still stand with God.

Will you stand too?