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Whats Up? 12/17-12/21December 14, 2018
Letter Z This Week!
Our Christmas advent “The Adoration Tree” continues this week! Each Bible lesson coordinates with our tree.
Field trip to CHH and LMBC. Leave at 9:30, return before school dismisses. Wear their painted Christmas tree shirt and jeans. Lunch provided. Send a wrapped $5 gift for the gift exchange.
Letter Z, Vowel recognition in words, Cursive strokes, and Continued addition on the number line.
What’s Up Next
Dec. 21st is our “Cocoa, Jammies, and Christmas Movie Day”! They may wear pajamas, bring a sleeping bag/blanket, a pillow and a stuffed animal. Dismissal is at 11:30.
The Adoration Tree – Day Four
Day 4: “Spread the News”
Bird seed and colorful paper strips placed inside a clear ornament. The Angels appeared to the shepherds to tell the news of the Savior’s birth and the Shepherds were told to go and find the baby and tell everyone!
News travels fast in the bird community. I can fill up my bird feeder and within an hour they are gathered eating. Their communication is amazing. Once a cardinal became caught in some netting in my yard and with its cries it drew other cardinals to gather around to sit and fill our power lines. It was fascinating to see how quickly word spread that another bird was in need.
The humble silence of that first Christmas night was now broken with the message of a host of angels. Though He was born as a common man His announcement was greater than that of any king. With this news, the shepherds are commanded to go, find and worship the Messiah. These faithful night-shift shepherds who were to care for the sacrificial temple lambs were called to see the One who would end all sacrifices. And now the “Good news of Great Joy,” would herald to everyone willing to hear. Quickly news would travel of this long-awaited event! Just as if you walked outside and spread some bird seed and watched as the birds told each other the exciting discovery, so the Christmas you treasure in your heart should spread and draw others to the Messiah. What we do with Christmas sends a message to others. We are the shepherds with the message of the Lamb.
The Adoration Tree – Day ThreeDecember 13, 2018
Day 3: “Wrapped in Swaddling Cloths”
Ribbon, twigs and jute. Cut and tie 5 strips of ribbon to the twig. Each tied ribbon on the twig reminds of the Savior wrapped in swaddling clothes. Each piece is tied to a piece of a tree just as Jesus was born to die on a tree.
There is nothing much more enjoyable than a precious newborn all wrapped up warm and cozy in a blanket and snuggled up against your chest. I wonder if Mary longed to hold her baby. If she felt the labor pains as she traveled and knew He was coming soon. Such a long journey both physically and emotionally for Mary and Joseph. And now she must endure the physical demands of labor and delivery. It’s not ideal to travel many miles late in pregnancy and deliver in an uncomfortable place where the animals were kept, but this was her reality and there was no changing it. Micah 5:2 prophesies Bethlehem as the location for the Messiah’s coming hundreds of years before Mary made this journey. God had planned it before she walked it.
The reward for her faithfulness in spite of suffering was “Christmas” wrapped in swaddling cloths. We often work to wrap gifts in pretty packages and fancy bows, when the first gift, the best gift came wrapped in strips of cloth and laid in a manger. A king would have had the finest of fabrics for swaddling. Yet this one, the King of Kings was humbly wrapped. A tired young woman, holding the Savior of the world, could rest as her pain gave way to life. This gift in swaddling cloths, will become the Giver. The first Christmas does not resemble the images of traditions we seek today. The first Christmas brought pain transformed to joy because a baby changed death into life. From swaddling cloths to burial cloths, He is the greatest gift.
The Adoration Tree – Day TwoDecember 12, 2018
Day 2: “The Treasure Inside”
Evergreen pieces, berries, holly and winter nature items inside the clear glass ornament. This reminds us of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth who was carrying John. Both women held a treasure inside just as these ornaments hold a treasure.
Treasure isn’t just for children. Most adults have a fancy box for jewelry, a chest with heirlooms, or an attic with trunks that contain keepsakes that have great meaning and often great value. Typically, treasures are kept secret. A wise person does not proclaim to the world the content of their treasure box. To look at Mary during this time you would not have yet noticed that she carried a treasure. This time she spent with her cousin would have been a quiet time where only she and Elizabeth knew of what was to come. We aren’t told of Joseph’s knowledge of the baby until after Mary returns to Nazareth. Mary’s stay with Elizabeth must have been filled with long talks about the precious children they each carried. A secret treasure that they knew would soon reveal itself to all mankind.
Near the close of Luke chapter one, Mary sings a song that closely resembles the song of another woman who also carried a precious son, Hannah. The treasure Mary carried was so great that it spilled out into her praise to God. “My soul magnifies the Lord” she cries as her heart worships the very One she carries. When we stop and actually consider this first Christmas Season, we realize it was not busy, hurried or even magical. Leading up to that long-awaited day we see a young woman, quiet, still, yet carrying “Christmas” as a treasure inside. What do we really need in order to have a genuine Christmas? One that resembles the original? We need the Messiah and we need Him in us, held as our greatest treasure. The beauty of this first Christmas season reveals to us the need for only you and the Messiah. Christmas can happen in the quiet alone or at a crowded gathering, because Christmas happens from inside us.
The Adoration Tree – Day OneDecember 11, 2018
Day 1: “The Fruit of the Womb, Jesus”
Dried fruit and ribbon tied to make an ornament that reminds us of Jesus, the “fruit of the womb”.
I remember one year we were vacationing in Tennessee and Grace (my daughter) was little and I was expecting my son, Luke. On our final night in the cabin I was jolted awake with terrible pain in my side. I can remember wondering what to do being so far from a hospital but not wanting to alarm anyone in case it turned out to be nothing. I decided to lie very still in my bed and wait till morning. Compounding the problem was the fact that we had lost power to the cabin while we slept, making that room covered with the thickest darkness I’ve ever felt. The strongest memory I have from that night was the longing for the light. I knew if the sun would just peek over the mountain and pour into our room then all would be well. What was probably only an hour felt like an eternity. Soon the pain subsided, the sun rose and the day went on as planned. Each time I go back to this memory, I think of that longing for the light.
When we open Luke chapter one, we must realize that God had been silent for 400 years as the distance between the Old and New Testament grew dark. Mankind was in spiritual darkness and many were longing for His light. Light broke through with the message of Gabriel to a young girl, Mary. And in this light, God did not speak, but instead He was present. He could have chosen to send His voice yet instead He sent His Son. Instead of His spoken word He sent the Living Word.
Precious Mary immediately went to her cousin Elizabeth for comfort and refuge. In this time and culture, a young woman carrying a child before the completion of her marriage ceremony could have been put to death. Elizabeth became a place for Mary to find safety. When Elizabeth greeted Mary, she said: “Blessed is the fruit of your womb”. Elizabeth knew by divine inspiration that Mary carried the Light of the World. And because of that, this child was a blessing.
Just as fruit is the gift of a tree, so this baby is the gift of God. Just as fruit is the nourishment of the farmer, so this baby is the nourishment of mankind. Just as light nourishes the soul, this baby is the ultimate satisfaction for a soul in need. In the spiritual darkness, the light broke through and proclaimed the coming of THE Light. A time of spiritual hunger is now satisfied with spiritual fruit. Consider this season the weight of the darkness of a world without God’s voice; the hunger of the world without Jesus. Christmas isn’t about presents, stockings, and trees, but instead it is about a dark, starving world being gifted with Jesus, the fruit of the womb.