Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sheep, an Elf and a Jesse Tree

(photo taken at Earth Day last April)

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own...and I lay down My life for the sheep. ~John 10:14-15

As Christmas approaches, I am desperate to keep focused on Him and to fix my children's gaze on Him.  The world is very distracting, isn't it?  All the lights, toys and merriment everywhere, it is so easy to get caught up in it all!
This year we have a Jesse Tree.  If you haven't heard of it, you need only to go to Pinterest and type it in to see lots and lots of ideas.  Several of my friends have had the Jesse Tree, and I am excited to make this a new family tradition!
I am all about making traditions and having fun for Christmas, but here is my advice to all you young moms:  if you start a tradition, it will be hard to stop, so think carefully and choose wisely!
Our elf has been here for two days, and already I want him to go back to the North Pole for good.  For two nights, I have jumped out of bed at four in the morning, because I forgot to move 'Zelfman' our elf.  Okay so maybe it is fun for the kids, but it is just one more thing for mama!
The Jesse Tree teaches the wonderful stories of the Bible and has a different lesson each day leading to Christmas morning.
As I reflect on the upcoming holiday, I can't help but think of the above verse.  He 'laid down His life for me.'  I can hardly comprehend this.  He loves us so much that He would die for us.

Yes, I am certain the Jesse Tree will be a regular family tradition.  I want my children to 'get it.'  I want them to know why we celebrate Christmas.  It is not for the gifts or for the bright lights, and it is certainly not about an elf.  It is about Jesus, who came to earth to redeem us.  He came here to love us and to walk in our shoes.  He left His throne and humbled himself to show us mercy and to restore us to our Father.  He died a horrible death, so that we might live.  There is enough mystery and wonder in His amazing story; who needs an elf?! 

All that being said, I will share my Jesse Tree soon, as well as some funny things our elf did!  My friend Jenn suggested having the elf bring an ornament each day for the Jesse Tree.  This is a great idea, if you already have the elf and want to incorporate him into the real meaning of Christmas!

What traditions do you have?

Blessings on this 'life lesson' Sunday!
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Unknown said...

We have done a Jesse Tree for the last couple of years, but I have been a bit slow to get started this year, so I need to play catch up!

Shabby soul said...

She is so beautiful!
Hugs from Italy

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