Friday, November 30, 2007

Discovering Advent

We have been thinking about this upcoming holiday season and how we can make Christmas (as a young family) memorable, traditional, and wonderfully and joyfully celebratory! How can we celebrate treats and food and cheesy christmas sweaters and white elephant parties and gifts, not just for the sake of treats and laughter and chocolate and presents, but enjoying these things as a shadow of the greatest gift to mankind, the incarnation: the God-man, the Savior, Creator of the world, come to bear in real space, real time, real history!!!! This is amazing! And should be celebrated with the best of occasions, and remembered as a true gift to mankind.

After some thoughtfulness and research, we have found that there is so much out there that we can do as a family to remember Christ, to learn about him, to meditate on him and to grow starting today, the first of December through the 25th. I had never heard of the Jesse Tree before, but we are adopting this tradition and adapting it, to fit our family. I am so excited. The Jesse Tree comes from Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." The Branch is a biblical sign representing newness out of discouragement, and was a way to refer to the expected Messiah. Jesse was the father of David and flowing from this line is Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The ritual that comes along with this idea is to tell of God's Story and faithfulness and connecting it all the way up to the Advent Season (Advent by the way means arrival or coming - the arrival of the Lord)

This is what advent is all about. not simply a huge anticipation for December 25, and then that's it. While neither my family, nor KC's family has celebrated advent, we think that this will be a memorable and valuable. First of all, Colson's world has changed since we have started decorating our home for Christmas. His favorite thing to say right now is "what is that? What is this?" Christmas time has become a wonderful opportunity to teach Colson about God's story. For example, we put lights up in our living room and he loves them. He could tell you now that we put lights up to remember, because Jesus came into the world, and Jesus is the light of the world.

Thinking about God's wonderful story and preparing for our adaption of the Jesse Tree (which is simply part of our Christmas tree) has already made me more all around thankful: I think this will help tremendously when we are receiving gifts and partying on. A gift received in any spirit other than thanksgiving is everything we are trying to counter. We have no problem with gifts, and plenty of them, if they are given and received in a spirit of thanksgiving to our loved ones, and to our greatest gift: Christ. This is what we want to remember as Daddy and Mommy, and this is what we want our kids to remember when they're ripping open a new favorite fighter jet.


AZChelsea said...

Kariann, you may or may not remember me from WBC but I found a link to your blog from Jen Green...I just really enjoy your blog and you have no idea how encouraging some of your entries have been to me have a really neat ability to put things in perspective in your writing...anyway, I have a son named Asher who is about to turn 1 year old before Christmas and my husband and I are already starting to think about what traditions we want to have and how we can teach Asher that the meaning of Christmas is so much deeper than gift giving! So thank you for introducing the Jesse tree....I think I will look into that a little more! And congratulations on your second pregnancy! Colson is just adorable!
Chelsea (Williams) Garner

KA said...

Chelsea, thanks so much for the encouragement! I do remember you, mostly leading praise and worship at WB.
Enjoy that precious little one of yours this Christmas. What a blessing.

Heather said...

That sounds so great! I'll have to look into the Jesse Tree. I have had similar thoughts concerning Christmas...

And, yes, Miss Ava Lee is getting VERY big! Those pictures are all over six months old too. Ava is big like her daddy, I think. Her hands and feet are huge. Kayla is continuing to grow as well. Sister is due some time in February. We can't wait to meet our new niece!

Blessings and love to you.

AZChelsea said...

Glad you remember me! Tell your husband hello from me! Check out my blog sometime if you get a chance...
Hey, do you keep in touch with Chrissy Bailey? She is about to have a baby boy! I just remembered you guys played soccer together... Have a great week!

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