Didn’t bring the hoped-for increase in our FSP, but it did bring a little bit of fun – a big breakfast of French toast, bacon and homemade hot cocoa. And some goodies under the Jesse Tree. I think the children enjoyed their treats.
And there are still a few hours left before midnight, perhaps St. Nick will visit and drop some coins into out Reece’s Rainbow stocking.
I didn’t finish all of my Jesse Tree ornaments last year. I rushed through many of them and they weren’t as detailed as I wanted. So this year, I’m re-creating them with more details, and I’m stitching numbers on the backs of them to help us keep them in proper order.
If your family isn’t familiar with the tradition of the Jesse Tree, it is a beautiful Advent devotion which traces the family tree of Jesus and our salvation history. All Christians can make this devotion, regardless of denomination. In fact, I’m so pleased to see so many more Protestants putting up Jesse Trees in their homes, and incorporating other Advent traditions into their Christmas preparations.
“that all may be one, that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21)
Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name
Tomorrow, we are driving out to visit my parents. We haven’t seen them in several years, and we are all very excited. Some of the children will be meeting Grandpapa and GramLyn for the first time. And we’ll tell them both all about their two new grandchildren, waiting far away.
“Upon which they set apart a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress.” That same evening it began “to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God… For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.” – William Bradford, Governor of Massachusetts
Thanksgiving has taken on an extra special meaning for our family since discovering that we are descended directly from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, both passengers aboard the Mayflower, and present at that First Thanksgiving. Without the mercy of God, our family, quite literally, would not exist – from saving John from drowning in the Atlantic after having fallen overboard, to preserving our ancestors from starvation and death from illness. At one point, our future hung, truly, from a rope.
We wish your family a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.