Have you noticed the trend to incorporate natural elements in interior decorating? Well, here's an advent idea that brings together creative design and spiritual truth. I love to use each tradition to instill biblical teaching into our children's minds and hearts. And they loved being a part of this one.
The boys and I went outside this morning to "find a really neat branch."
Then while they were napping, I decorated the branches with tags I had in a scrapbooking paper pad, having first written quotations from some of the following verses on them: Isaiah 4:2,3; 11:1,5-11; Jeremiah 23:1-5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; Acts 13:22,23; Romans 15:12,13; Revelation 22:16. (You could use gift labels or even an address label template instead. Just holepunch in a corner. Tying pretty little ribbons through would be a nice touch depending on your style.)
Acts 13:23 (ESV) has to be one of my favorites: "Of this man [David]’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, JESUS, as He promised."
And Romans 15:8-13 (ESV), which I couldn't put all of on the tiny cards, but which I'll quote here:
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,
9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. As it is written,
"Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles,
and sing to Your name."
10 And again it is said,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people."
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol Him."
12And again Isaiah says,
"The root of Jesse will come,
even He who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in Him will the Gentiles hope."
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
I wrote out that thirteenth verse on the larger center card as my hope for all who may see our "Jesse's Branch."
Micah asked, "Mommy, can we keep our branch forever?" He's definitely my sentimental historian, my traditions man. Yes, I think this is a tradition we will definitely keep (even if our particular tree branch doesn't make it from year to year). Hope your families will enjoy this new tradition as well.