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

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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

The Most Favored Woman Mary -21st Day Of Advent

Today is the twenty first  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.

I am always nervous when I hear someone say something like, ‘Oh Christopher you are just the person I was looking for’. I am nervous about that because I know that greeting means they want me to do something. Normally I don’t mind doing what they ask me to do, but still I always get the sinking feeling right before. I get that, ‘oh goodness what do they want’ feeling. Have you ever had it?

One of my favorite lines in the bible is this; ‘The angel went to [Mary] and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.’ 

When Mary heard the angel’s greeting she thought, ‘Oh goodness what is this about?’ What the angel told her was amazing, and pretty unbelievable. She was going to conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, that she will name Jesus. And this Jesus will become a king over a kingdom that will have no end. This is a lot to take in for anyone, but Mary was likely only 13 at the time. Most of the 13 year olds I know are not ready for something like this. Come to think about it I am not sure I know anyone at any age that is ready for something like this!

Mary’s answer to the angel was just as incredible as his message. She basically said, ‘Ok I am in, let everything happen the way you say it will.’ Because of this Mary is a role model to me. I can be slow saying, ‘OK God I am in, do what you want’. Mary jumped right in.

Today on the twenty first day of Advent we remember that we need to say yes to God’s plans.

Jesse Tree 21