She Placed Him In What?!- The Final Day Of Advent

Today is the final day of Advent.I want to thank everyone who journeyed with me and Meghan as we tried to tell God’s story from the beginning to the birth of Jesus. I also want to say a giant thank you to Meghan for making such lovely Christmas Tree ornaments everyday to help us to remember our Advent lesson. If you want to take a look back on any post you may have missed  you can do that by clicking here.

The Christmas story is a big one. There are so many people involved. There are world leaders like Ceasar and Herod. There are distant travelers like the Magi. There are great heavenly beings like the Angels. There are outcasts like the Shepherds. And of course there is Mary, and Joseph, and finally a baby named Jesus.

I have heard and told the Christmas story more times than I can remember. But I remember a few years ago when the story pierced me like new again. It was when I read a version of the story that decided not to use the word ‘manger’ but instead said ‘feed trough’. When I read the words feed trough I felt kind of mad, almost upset. I thought, ‘that’s not right. Jesus shouldn’t be placed in something that animals eat out of.’

I think for the first time it hit me I never actually knew what a manger was. I had only seen one in Christmas pageants with kids dressed up as shepherds, angels, sheep, and Mary and Joseph. It was a little wooden thing filled with blankets that fit a doll just perfectly. It was neat and tidy and clean and cute. Feed troughs aren’t any of those things. They are filled with bits of food, and dirt, and bugs and animal slava. I am sure Joseph brushed it off first but still, it was a feed trough.

Jesus entered our world fully and muk first. He came to be with us, as one of us, to help us. The manger, the feed trough has become a symbol to me now. Kind of like the cross. It reminds me that Jesus came in a humble way and lived in a humble way. It reminds me that he is teaching me to live in a humble way too.

Today on the final day of Advent we remember that Jesus entered to world humbly to teach us humility as well. 

Jesse Tree Final

Advertisements

The Journey-23rd Day Of Advent

Today is the twenty third day of Advent. Each day I will post a short blog aimed at kids that will help tell God’s story from the beginning to the birth of Jesus. And each day Meghan, my wife, will make a Christmas Tree ornament that helps us to remember the day’s Advent lesson. If you want to make them along with us all you will need is some felt, some glue, and some ribbon.I hope you will join us each day this Advent.You can catch up on any post you may have missed by clicking here.

On Saturday Meghan and I took a semi-impromptu trip with the kids. We went to visit most of Meghan’s family who live a solid 2 1/2 hours drive away. To make this journey with three kids we loaded up our mini-van with all the travel essentials like; two borrowed iPad minis, 1 DS with four games, 1 LeapPad with 6 games and one 3DS (that last one was for me). These gadgets kept the kids entertained the whole drive there and back.

I am not a huge traveler. But I can’t imagine taking a long journey electronic free. I always have something to keep myself, and the kids busy.

Maybe that is why when I read the journey that Joseph and Mary had to take I am always a little amazed. Nazareth is about 80 miles from Jerusalem. But car that’s not so bad. If you are on a highway you are only looking at about an hour and a half drive. Joseph and Mary didn’t have that luxury. That 80 mile journey is a four day trip at the best of times, and that isn’t accounting for the fact that Mary was late into her third trimester.

So why take such an unpleasant journey at that time? On the surface it seems like they took the journey because Caesar told them too. Everyone had to return to their clan lands to register for a census. That makes it seem like poor Mary and Joseph were the victims of circumstance. However that wasn’t the real reason they journeyed.

God promised the Messiah, the saviour would be born in Bethlehem. And this was the way he got too people living in Nazareth to have their baby in Bethlehem, Even though things seemed out of control God was with them making sure things proceeded as he planned.

Today on the twenty third day of Advent we remember that God guilds us on our journeys too.

Jesse Tree 23

Sunday Of Peace-22nd Day Of Advent

Today is the twenty second day of Advent. Each day I will post a short blog aimed at kids that will help tell God’s story from the beginning to the birth of Jesus. And each day Meghan, my wife, will make a Christmas Tree ornament that helps us to remember the day’s Advent lesson. If you want to make them along with us all you will need is some felt, some glue, and some ribbon.I hope you will join us each day this Advent.You can catch up on any post you may have missed by clicking here.

Do you know what the best toy in the entire house is? The toy someone else is playing with. If Simeon decides he wants to play with his Pokemon figures Ariella decides the best game in the world is to take them and run around. If Ariella decides she wants to play the LeapPad Simeon decides the best way for her to play the LeapPad is for her to watch him play the LeapPad. Of course these things lead to war. Or at least a lot of squabbling. Peace can be hard to come by, or at least it is in my house.

God gives a promise to us through Isaiah that says this,

The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.
Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
their calves and cubs grow up together,
and the lion eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,
the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent.
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,
a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

I love this promise. It talks about a time that is coming when the whole world well be at peace. Not just brothers and sisters at peace, or countries at peace, everything is at peace. Even all of the animals are at peace. Bears and Lions are suddenly grazing on grass. It is hard to imagine a world like this, a world where fighting has totally ended. But I do believe in it, I believe one day I will live in that world.

The question I have is what will I do until I live there? How will I behave? How will I treat others around me. I can’t expect other people to be perfect, and I can’t expect myself to be perfect. But I do think I can try to bring more peace into the world. I can try to raise my voice less. I can try to help others more. I can try to share what I have better. I can try to forgive quicker. I can try to bring tiny bits of peace to other people everyday. I hope you will try too.

Today on the twenty second day of Advent we remember that God has promised us a great peace.

Jesse Tree 22