Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Advent

As Jake and I are approaching Christmas, we have been very thoughtful towards how we are engaging Christmas with our children. Last year, we felt that Christmas just happened to us, and we threw Christ in as we could. This year, we’re wanting to really understand Christmas morning as an Israelite would have…anticipating Christ with the nation of Israel, experiencing joy with Elizabeth, trusting with Joseph, hoping with Mary, worshiping with the Magi…as we teach our children the true importance of this celebration. As we reflect on the coming of the Christ-child, we are learning how to anticipate the coming of Christ, remembering His promise to return for His people.

Since the weather outside is definitely not frightful, and there’s no delightful snow for North Texas in the forecast any time soon, it’s easy to forget the busyness of the coming weeks. Trying not to get hustled and bustled, in a culture that does nothing but hurry the season away, is pretty difficult. In fact, if you’re not diligently pursuing rest in Him, you may quickly drift away into this hurried season.

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1

So what if we saw Christmas newly this year? What if we heard the Christmas story from the perspective of an Israelite? What if we saw the star and remembered the promise of a covenant made by a Holy God? What if we rejoiced in the fields with the shepherds? What if we heard the cries of a Savior and fell down in worship, knowing that only He is worthy? What if we actually saw Christ in Christmas?

As a family, we are beginning a new tradition this year as we prepare our hearts and lead our children to celebrate Christmas! We are making a “Jesse Tree” (More info about a Jesse tree here: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/what-did-christmas-day-look-like-in-your-home-as-your-kids-grew-up), and we are reading through a series of scriptures together as a family. The scriptures were chosen as sort of an overview/history of the Israelites, giving new perspective as we enjoy Christ, the Savior, born in Bethlehem.

Below is the overview of the scripture. Many companies make ornaments that you can purchase online or in a store. Others have some that you can download and color yourself. I think our family will read the story, and create a simple ornament to hang on the tree. Some may even choose not to do an ornament, but to just enjoy reading through the scripture.

However you choose to lead your family into Christmas this year, I encourage you to enjoy Him in the midst of it all!

Table of Scripture Readings for the Story

Date

Persons

Events/Themes

Scripture

Symbols

First

Sunday

Introduction of the Jesse Tree

1 Sam 16:1-13

Isaiah 11:1-10

The Tree

Mon

God

Creation

Gen 1:1-2:3

Dove

Tues

Adam and Eve

The First Sin

Gen 2:4-3:24

Tree with Fruit or Apple

Wed

Noah

The Flood

Gen 6:11-22, 7:17-8:12, 20-9:17

Rainbow or Ark

Thurs

Abraham

The Promise

Gen 12:1-7, 15:1-6

Field of Stars

Fri

Isaac

Offering of Isaac

Gen 22:1-19

Ram

Sat

Jacob

Assurance

of the Promise

Gen 27:41-28:22

Ladder

Second

Sunday

Joseph

God's Providence

Gen 37, 39:1-50:21

Sack of Grain or Coat

Mon

Moses

God's Leadership

Exodus 2:1-4:20

Burning Bush

Tues

Israelites

Passover

and Exodus

Exodus 12:1-14:31

Lamb

Wed

God

Giving the Law

at Sinai

Exodus 19:1-20:20

Tablets of the Ten Command-ments

Thurs

Joshua

The Fall of Jericho

Joshua 1:1-11, 6:1-20

Ram's Horn Trumpet

Fri

Gideon

Unlikely Heroes

Judges 2:6-23, 6:1-6, 11-8:28

Clay Water Pitcher

Sat

Samuel

The Beginning

of the Kingdom

1 Sam 3:1-21, 7:1-8:22, 9:15-10:9

Crown

Third

Sunday

David

A Shepherd

for the People

1 Sam 16:1-23-17:58,

2 Sam 5:1-5, 7:1-17

Shepherd's Crook or Harp

Mon

Elijah

The Threat

of False Gods

1 Kings 17:1-16, 18:17-46

Stone Altar

Tues

Hezekiah

Faithfulness and Deliverance

2 Kings 18:1-19:19, 32-37

An Empty Tent

Wed

Isaiah

The Call to Holiness

Isaiah 1:10-20, 6:1-13, 8:11-9:7

Fire Tongs with Hot Coal

Thurs

Jeremiah

The Exile

Jer 1:4-10, 2:4-13, 7:1-15, 8:22-9:1-11

Tears

Fri

Habakkuk

Waiting

Habakkuk 1:1-2:1, 3:16-19

Stone Watchtower

Sat

Nehemiah

Return

and Rebuilding

Neh 1:1-2:8, 6:15-16, 13:10-22

City Wall

Fourth

Sunday

John the Baptist

Repentance

Luke 1:57-80, 3:1-207:18-30

Scallop Shell

Mon

Mary

The Hope

for a Future

Luke 1:26-38

White Lily

Tues

Elizabeth

Joy

Luke 1:39-56

Mother and Child

Wed

Zechariah

Anticipation

Luke 1:57-80

Pencil and Tablet

Thurs

Joseph

Trust

Matt 1:19-25

Carpenter's Square or Hammer

Fri

Magi

Worship

Matt 2:1-12

Star or Candle

Dec

24

Jesus

Birth of the Messiah

Luke 2:1-20

Manger

Dec

25

Christ

The Son of God

John 1:1-18

Chi-Rho Symbol

1 comment:

The Copeland Family said...

LOVE this, Annie, thanks for sharing!