ADVENTure Blog Day 1

Today is the first day of Advent which means arrival or coming–the count down leading up to Christmas. For me it also means focusing on the real reason for the season.

This is my favorite time of year. As babies bring new birth, new life, new joy, new hope, Christmas does the same for me because that’s what Christ does for me.

I hope to ADVENTure Blog each day of this season using three specific resources and whatever else God uses to enlighten my ADVENTure.

The first resource is Rediscovering the Christmas Season on YouVersion. This will be a new Christmas tradition for me with a non-traditional twist on the season of Advent. It’s an online tool for daily reading which includes reflection questions and action steps to center each day on Christ.

The second resource is The Advent Jesse Tree – Devotions for Children and Adults to prepare for the coming of the CHRIST CHILD at CHRISTMAS. I participated in a Jesse Tree gathering last year and hope to organize one next year but this little devotional book and handmade ornaments are great for the whole family.

And the third resource is The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. I’ve used this book since my kids were in early elementary school and recently found myself quoting it when decorating our Christmas tree. Our son asked what people used “back in the old days” to decorate their trees.

Lisa Whelchel answers that question by saying, “In medieval Europe, plays were performed throughout the year based on lives of Bible characters. December 24 was declared Adam and Eve’s Day and the setting of this day’s drama was the Garden of Eden. Remember what happened? The serpent tempted Eve to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. And she did…There was one minor problem…finding a fruit tree in winter. Some Renaissance stage director must have discovered…he could turn a pine tree strung with apples into the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This “costumed” tree delighted the audience and became the star of the show…Years after the plays were no longer performed, German families continued to decorate their own evergreens with red apples on December 24…Through the years, the decorations become more and more elaborate. Mothers hid gingerbread cookies…nuts dipped in sugar were nestled among the pine needles…But no matter how sweet the treats, the most important ornaments were tiny round wafers of bread hidden among the other decorations. These thin biscuits represented the body of Christ that was broken on the cross for our sins. And so hidden among the forbidden fruit, through which death entered the world, were signs of Jesus Christ, the One who gives us eternal life.”

Isn’t that a neat bit of history to share with your kids during Advent season?

While your focusing on the real reason for the season by yourself or with loved ones, sip on some homemade wassail. Here’s my easy but loved recipe:

Ellen’s Holiday Wassail

In a pot combine:
64 oz Not from concentrate apple juice
About 1/2 of cup of Not from concentrate orange juice
Toss in a few slices of oranges and a few cinnamon sticks
Warm until steaming.  Sip until full. 🙂
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