Written on December 25, 2018.
The covenant of this holiday season for our family is “tradition”. The Hebrew word is ‘masoret’ or ‘masor’ (root) which means “to give over”. Though this means the things we give over to another generation by living and speaking, we felt our invitation was to give ourselves fully to the passionate purpose Pappa had in inviting us to the traditions we observe. Those things that have stirred and stabled us.
A tradition that has meant much to us, year by year, as Advent awakes, is the Jesse Tree. We love exploring and expanding our story through those at the root and real of us.
We’ve had the same ornaments for many years. They tell our story in their own way, through the chewed up spots from puppies and the spaces markered by little hands. For that reason, I wrapped them tenderly and placed them in my hope chest when the new ornaments arrived this year.
I didn’t really plan to get new ones ever, but the prompting pierced me day by day for several months. So I went to the place where all things good can be found, Etsy. And I was captured quite quickly by a set of handmade clay ornaments.
They arrived in a most lovely box. The interior smelled of Christmas and gingerly held each individually wrapped trinket. Wrapped in red, they each had a sweet stamp with the number of their day.
The unwrap of the first bedeck and bedazzle revealed the tiniest, tenderest treasure. In a moment, it married itself to the fond feel of my heart. Tiny in the enormity of the story, tender to being found within it.
One dear to my heart, lovingly laced twine through the tiny tether of every one and wrapped each back in red and sealed the stamp anew.
Anticipation allows hope to grow greater, so I purchased a wooden display for the revealing of the bountiful baubles. Purposely I would pass by as often as I could, touching each one. I was so wondered by their wait. Not just for their hanging, but for the season each of us would need, will need their telling.
But I’ve missed a step.
Unwrapping the tiny tales, revealed that two were missing. Twelve and thirteen. Seed and Womb. Hours passed, with every nook and cranny searched. Disappointment tried to draw nigh, but One drew near. He suggested I peer into the booklet that came alongside the storied clay and discover the space the missing pieces occupied.
A sheaf of wheat and a staff. Ruth and David. Narratives of nativity for we two. For He has awakened us through their accounts. Over and over. Origin and occasion. Timed and tethered here. He kneads us and we need Him.
Frantic fought faithful. Faithful overcame. With my prayer and the light. “Pappa, I know this matters to you. Please bask them in your light that nothing would be lost.”
No scavenger hunt ensued. Just a whisper and a wow. He told me right where they were. Waiting. For me to learn more. About who we are. To Him.
As I hung the sheaf and staff, He said He wanted to unwrap our story, our us. We and He. Not because of what we missed, but for His more. His everlasting more.
Dawn by dawn, He has departed His throne to dwell with us. To discover us. To delight in us. In the span of season where we remember God squeezed stunningly into flesh. Fully human, unafraid of humanity. Yielded to our choice, our growth, our tempt and triumph.
Born to bleed. Stationed to save. Readied to rescue.
Grafted to grateful. These have been the days of days. Savory and sweet. Call and commission. Fiercely following.
What did I discover? Much. This I will share. Ruth 2:14 speaks of the elements of communion. Bread. Wine. Redeemer. Communion’s cadence. It’s candescence. All I am is wrapped in that. Or unwrapped.
And for my person, well, I felt like I was given a seed of staff. So I grew it into a full size one, through the generosity of two wild wonders. Because it matters that I always know who he truly is, to Heaven. And to me.
Pillared: Spend some time Pappa, Jesus and El Shaddai, inviting them to unwrap more of who you are. Journal it. Remember it. Live it.
Passaged: Invite Him to highlight a passage of scripture that testifies to your being unwrapped. Journal, define and feast upon the passage until it becomes part of you.
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