My older boys sat calmly at the counter a few days ago, tinkering around with the various veggie characters of our acclaimed VeggieTales manger scene.
“Here comes Mary” the oldest shouted.
“Mary, where should we stay?” said our middle child in a deep voice like Joseph must have had.
“There’s no room anywhere. We are stuck in this dumpy barn” a voice cried.
“And they put baby Jesus in the cow dish that probably had cow spit in it too” our oldest said.
Ewwww..yet, if you really think about it, he is right on.
Our kids know the birth story of Jesus. They have been in the plays, watched the animated movies, sang the songs and yes, replayed the scene with little veggietales without hands or feet.
But ask them what came before Jesus’ birth and you would get silence. After Jesus’ birth would most likely be the cross but then more silence.
Granted, our boys are 4 and 6, but I wanted them to start gaining a bigger Biblical focus this Christmas. Jesus’ birth wasn’t an attempt of an unorganized, completely spontaneous God. His birth was perfectly timed and the stories of those that made up His family line literally show how amazing His story is. And that family tree goes right into our family and includes our kids, right now. No mistakes here. Everyone has a purpose.
We are doing Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas
This was gifted to us from a dear friend who loves our kids as her very own grandkids. Each evening, after the chaos of after-dinner cleaning and baths are complete, the kids and I gather right by our lit-up Christmas tree. We read a Bible story about a person in our Jesse tree – an account of a person that is in Jesus’ family tree and our family tree.
You see, Jesse was the father of David. David was in the line of Jesus. It all ties together simply and easily. So incredibly simple that my 4 year-old and 6 year-old can understand it and literally fight over who gets to hang up the next ornament every single night. The stories we learn together stick with them. They provide conversations at the dinner table, a-ha moments before bed and they are beginning to realize Gods story can be their story too.
That’s one big root.
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. (Isaiah 11:1-2, 10 NLT)
These descendants we are learning about now hang on our Jesse tree. They have entered our family. They are now part of our story.
God wants so much more than just to be a part of your family’s Christmas. He wants you to learn His story.
[tweetthis]God wants more than just to be part of your family’s Christmas. He wants you to learn His story. [/tweetthis]
God wants you to see His hand rooted in your story.
[tweetthis]God wants you to see His hand rooted in your story. [/tweetthis]
If you can’t find His hand, take a glance back at the Jesse Tree. From Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ruth and beyond – God sinks His story into the roots of our hearts. Out of your life grows a line directly back to Him and linked to them. That is truly a picture to great for words but worth every moment planting the seeds in the hearts of my boys.
What traditions have you found to be the most rewarding?