Our Advent Scripture passage for Day 21 is Isaiah 9:2-7.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before You
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.
For You have shattered their oppressive yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as You did on the day of Midian.
For the trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
Tonight we made craft-stick mangers to place Baby Jesus. I’ve come to realize that most of the photos featured on Pinterest for children’s crafts are actually created by adults, because they are just too pristine. Children are messy and expressive, rudimentary in their crayon drawings and liberal with the glue. These special works of art may not end up racking up hits on the Internet, but they are proudly displayed on refrigerators and tucked into keepsake boxes because moms can’t bear to throw them away. They are too precious.
Our praise is like that. Our voices may not quite hit the pitch and we may not have the perfect, eloquent words to pray. But to God, there is no sweeter sound. He doesn’t want the “prettied up” version, He wants us.
As Jackson made the manger hay as fluffy as possible, he asked if he could write “For God so loved the world” on the top of his picture. I thought that would be perfect. Jesus came because of God’s great love. And, it wasn’t enough to just write the beginning of John 3:16, he thought it would be better to use a different marker for each letter.
The finished projects were masterpieces. And, yes, they are currently hanging prominently on the fridge.