Friday, November 29, 2013

Counting the Days

In a season full of hustle and bustle, we try to be intentional as a family about slowing down our lives and our hearts to remember the real reason we celebrate. That it's not about the gifts, the parties, or even family and traditions. Christmas is about God's great rescue plan to redeem a dark and broken world.

In past years we've done a Jesse Tree, a beautiful tradition of using ornaments and scripture to tell God's grand redemption story. This year, we're counting down the days to Christmas using The Jesus Storybook Bible (more here on how much our family loves this little book).

Every night, the kids will grab a little bag filled with the story and scripture we'll read together. I love how The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the entire story of why Jesus came in the first place. It "tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible...and at the center of the Story, there is a baby, the Child upon whom everything would depend. From Noah to Moses to King David every story whispers his name. Jesus is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together." 

I found this fantastic printable over here at Home with the Boys.

Update: another great resource here, The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent calender printable!

We'll also be going through this brand new little book, Counting the Days, Lighting the Candles: A Christmas Advent Devotional. There are daily readings for adults as well as for our kids and a weekly family activity created by my sweet friend, Jami

Too often, we only remember part of the story this season. We recite the narrative to our children of an angel that came to a young mother, a crowded inn, the animals in the stable, the visiting magi, and a baby in a manger.

But the story is so much bigger than what happened in Bethlehem so many Christmases ago. It's a story that began with a lie in a garden, a promise to an elderly couple, laws that were given that we could never measure up to on our own, and prophets who pointed us to one who would keep the law perfectly in our place. It's a story of hardship and struggle and sin and brokenness. But it's also a beautiful story of hope.

More than anything this year, our family needs to be reminded that we're in the midst of a greater, grander story. That God had a universal rescue plan. I want my kids to see more than the roughly hewn stable in Bethlehem this season. I want them to see the rugged and bloody cross on a hill outside of Jerusalem. 

I want them to see Jesus this Christmas.

A King who serves.

A Savior who rescues.

And a God who redeems everything that's broken...

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