Tree tradition continues in Pelham

Published 9:53 am Monday, December 7, 2015

PHS Pantherettes Dance Team members prepare to assist near Santa after the performances. (Contributed)

PHS Pantherettes Dance Team members prepare to assist near Santa after the performances. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I have four points about the meaning of the Christmas tree,” said Pastor Jerry McClain at Pelham’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. After a rousing opening bringing the crowd to its feet, McClain’s powerful start roared full speed ahead as he spoke to a full house gathered to celebrate Pelham’s Tree Tradition.

McClain paralleled Christmas trees to families saying that the tree’s trunk represent the parents and grandparents—and their spirituality. These elements formed the solid base of families. The branches of the tree represent children, according to McClain.

“The needles of the tree represent the words,” said McClain. “Those needles go everywhere as you drag the tree into the house and out of the house just like words—be careful with your words because they are everywhere.”

Finally, McClain finished with the crown or glory of the tree which he named as grandchildren; however, he also reminded children that “the parents are the glory of the children.”

“Remember, Christmas is not your birthday,” McClain reminded the crowd as he encouraged everyone to remember the true spirit of the season and to look up Matthew 25:35.

Finishing my notes, I realized I needed the pastor’s last name. The lovely young woman sitting next to me had been so captivated by the message that I felt our speaker must have been her pastor.

“Did you catch the pastor’s last name?” I asked her.

“He’s my PawPaw,” said the beauty beaming at me. “His last name is McClain.”

Sitting beside her during the program helped revealed why McClain said with confidence that grandchildren are the glory. She marveled at the ice skaters, the hockey players and the choirs. Her positive outlook was indeed glorious.

Matthew 25:35 reads, For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

“Pelham is a great place to live because, at the end of the day, we choose unity,” McClain said.

Pelham’s Tree Lighting tradition reminds us that our unity and compassion make us strong.