Our family has begun our Advent preparations. The Advent wreath sits on our table with candles waiting to be lit, our Mary figurine is flanked by two glass angels in remembrance of the Annunciation, and our Jesse Tree and Nativity stable will soon be displayed, empty and waiting to be filled with the miracle of Jesus.
In her book, Walking With Purpose, Lisa Brenninkmeyer shares one of her daily prayers:
“That my home will be filled with the unmistakable scent of Christ. May it be calm, not chaotic.”
Advent, especially, is a time to create a calm space for Christ. A simple Advent wreath, a sparse Nativity scene, and a bare Jesse Tree all remind us that we are waiting for the only one who can truly fill our hearts–the only one who can truly bring us peace and joy.
I find that when I create space for Christ, He creates space for me. He seems to multiply my time in direct proportion to the amount of time I spend focused on Him. The same effect can bless your family as you center your family time around Him. No matter how busy you feel this Advent season take a few minutes each day to come together as a family and encourage one another in your preparations for the miracle of Christmas. Light some candles, create a sense of peace, and lift up your hearts to God.
The Jesse Tree is a special way of bringing your family together each evening through Sacred Scripture and reflection on Jesus’ lineage. We see how God’s plan of salvation always existed, and we are reminded of His infinite wisdom and love. And, of course, my children love counting down the days to Christmas by placing a symbol of each Bible story on a branch of the tree.
Think about ways you can create space this Advent season. Like the ornaments on the Jesse Tree, let Christmas decorations gradually fill your home as your hearts turn more toward Christ. Fill your home with the scent of Christ and allow the anticipation to build into a truly joyful Christmas Day with memories that will far outlast the shiny packages under the tree.
Both of the following websites provide wonderful family Advent activities, as well as instructions and templates for the Jesse Tree.