Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent Tree

Yesterday as part of our Hanging of the Greens service I shared that throughout the season of Advent, we are going to be reflecting on the identity of who Jesus is. Who is this one we are waiting for? Over the next four weeks of watching and waiting we will zero in especially on the titles given to God’s Messiah in Isaiah 9:6—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. We’re going to consider these titles in our sermons, in song, and in art we will create together. How did Jesus fulfill these expectations, and how did he redefine them? What does it mean that he is these things today? Then, in the season of Epiphany—the season after Christmas where we celebrate the light of Christ filling the world, revealing who he is—we’ll be reflecting further on who we are understanding Christ to be, considering the seven things Jesus said that “I am” in the gospel of John. So basically, the next three months are going to focus on the question of who Jesus is—who do we understand him to be? Who did he say that he was? Who did he show himself to be?

To help you prepare for our encounters with this question, since Advent is a season of preparation, I handed out in worship yesterday an "Advent tree" for each family to take home. The challenge is, each day of Advent, to fill in one of the ornaments on this tree with a word or image that says something about who Jesus is—who is this one you’re waiting for? If you need prompts or places to get started, there are verses listed on the tree that we will be reading and studying together throughout the season. It’s my hope that this can be a rich season of us individually and collectively coming to know Jesus in new, deeper ways that can shape who we are, and prepare us to be followers of Christ and bearers of God’s image in this world. I'll be sharing my own tree periodically as it comes together, just to encourage you along the way. So here is mine with the first two days filled in, and also a blank one you can print off (adapted from if you were not in worship yesterday to receive one. Come Christmas Day I'd love to see the art everyone created!

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