we are a cross species. made in the image of God yet trying to make an image for ourselves
many current political trends have created some hard issues for christians. as a follower of Jesus, i believe God created us male and female. He orchestrated marriage. He created diversity. He created everything and said it was good. but the man and woman God made were cursed for betraying their creator. the world was broken. we no longer live in teh perfect garden of Eden.
We live in a world that has denied God or flat out blasphemed. so, the things God ordained for us are all fragile in this ungodly world.
CS Lewis wrote of an absolute moral law people live by but now, there is an agenda to cut out morals- even ones that seem inherit to men. murder is easily excusable. theft is forgiven. Gods name is used in vain everywhere. lies are acceptable and white lies actually encouraged, parents are often blamed for the child’s issues rather than being honored. there are no days that are set aside to rest and even holidays are being taken over by consumerism, women leave husbands and men leave wives whenever they crave something different, men and women have sexual relationships with each other, money and status and things create a sense of worth, authorities are disrespected, racisim runs rampant, houses of worship are being threatened to go against their deepest beliefs. and many many different types of gods are worshiped even among so called Christians.
How can we then legislate transgender or homosexuality or worship places or money or divorce laws or oaths? i just think about the days of Judges when the Bible records “in those days there was no KING in the land. everyone did what was right in his own eyes”
we are a cross species. made in the image of God yet trying to make an image for ourselves.
How did you just say that title in your mind? there are many different tones you can use. Christmas is OVER . some of you may say it like this- emphasizing “over” because you are so glad it is done. CHRISTMAS is over. when you emphasize like this i get the idea Christmas is just one event in a list of things we must endure. Christmas is over. straight, no emphasizing, there is a simple statement of fact.
My granddaddy always had a lilting tone on Christmas and over exaggerated the “over” by drawing it out. Christ-MAS is Ooverrrrr.
it describes the Christmas let down. Its all over. The preparations and presents. Now, trees are coming down. Lights being put away. No more santa pictures. and my kids are disappointed to realize there is no more 24/7 Christmas music on the radio anymore. Christ-MAS is Ooverrrrr. How sad feeling. The answer the kids would give granddaddy was “but i still have my toys!” and that s the point! not the toys, but the gift. We still have the gift.
This is the gift God promised Abraham would save all the nations. The gift of the God of Isaac and Jacob. A gift from the line of Judah, the gift on the throne of King David. The gift the prophets and priests spoke of. The Messiah, the Christ, the ANointed one, the Suffering Servant who came to save the sins of the world. And His name is called Emmanuel.
Christmas is over. but we still have Jesus, God with us.
there is a tradition gaining popularity in modern Christianity during the time of advent. the Jesse Tree is a way of decorating a Christmas tree with ornaments or decorations that purposely lead your family through the messianic line.
(origin of the name) “The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.”
(a bit of history) the first known jesse tree depiction was actually a stained glass window in Chartres Cathedral in the year 1140 or 1150 in Northern France. Since then there have been many representations of these in liturgical churches around the world.
(application) Modern Christians have begun to adopt Advent and Jesse Trees as part of our Christmas experience. while some churches are full of literguy and symbolism other churchers refrain from too much of that in concern of creating idols. i think a healthy balance of symbolism can really help us focus our minds on truth.
(you wanna do it?) It’s easy! Google Jesse tree and you will see many ideas. there are elaborate decorations, simple crafty ornaments , or easy templates to just print and color. glance at the picture below for an idea.
It doesn’t have to be a huge tree. it can be a small table one or even just a paper tree on the wall.
There are advent calendars out there filled with chocolates for each day. but with this tree as your advent calendar each day reveals a new lesson in the chronological timeline of Christ’s ancestors .
(Let’s do it together) starting so late I will try to do 2 a day.
* creation: in the beginning God created everything out of nothing . an ornament or decoration of the world can be hung to represent creation. place it at the bottom of the tree.
*the fall: adam and eve were the first people God created. he let them live in the garden of eden, where he walked among them. but then they disobeyed Him and ate from the tree He forbade them from. that was the first sin. every person after adam was born outside of the garden. dont worry though. God already had a plan of salvation in mind. hang an ornament of an apple or fruit representing the sin of man.
check out jesse tree rca for some devotionals and ideas for your family.
Jesse Tree rca.org
celebrating advent has become a very important part of my Christmas schedule. i began researching the tradition while looking for some Christmas lessons when my husband and i were ministering to our church youth group. i fell in love with the idea of preparing my heart for the celebration of Christ coming as a man, God dwelling among us.
i totally meant to begin sharing these ideas at the beginning of the technical advent time, but… i didn’t. so , here it is now. at least the first installment.
among the advent wreath there sits 5 candles. 3 purple, 1 pink, 1 white candle in the middle. for the first week of advent the first candle, a purple one, is lit each day during a devotional time. this candle is the prophets candle.
Scripture contains words from many prophets throughout time. these prophets spoke truth even when it hurt. in fact, most of the time it did hurt. God sent these men out to tell His people of their sin and impending judgement. but always there is also a glimmer of redemption and restoration.
there is a common thread from the beginning of creation to today. there is a Judge. a perfect, holy, just, Judge. His wrath is strong and purifying. Yet through the promised Savior, His love and compassion reaches out and offers redemption.