Why Jesus came

Papa helps Lauren make her cross ornament.

Papa helps Lauren make her cross ornament.

Christmas Countdown Day 24 focused on the cross. As our family looked over the Advent tree and all we learned this month about Immanuel, God with us, we understood that the manger wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus grows up, just like Jackson and Lauren are growing up. Jesus becomes a man, and He dies on the cross to save us. Our Scripture tonight was Philippians 2:6-8.

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Jesus came to earth to be born in a manger, so He could die on a tree. He came so that you and I could truly live. Christmas is really all about the cross.

We made cross ornaments tonight to remember that Jesus came for each of us.

Our cross ornament

Our cross ornament

Giving gifts to Jesus

Jackson and Lauren hold their cinnamon ornaments just before baking.

Jackson and Lauren hold their cinnamon ornaments just before baking.

Christmas Countdown Day 22 and 23 focused on the wisemen and gifts. Wisemen traveled a great distance, following only a star, and the hope that they would be able to worship the King of Kings. Faith carried them across the rugged terrain, and their determination held steady. They brought with them three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Each gift was a treasure, and useful to the Lord they were coming to meet. These gifts showcased Jesus as king, priest and ultimate sacrifice to save the world. We made wisemen ornaments to help us remember their faith in the star to guide them to Christ. Then, we created very special ornaments to remind us of the sweet smells of the spices given to Jesus by the wisemen. We mixed one cup of cinnamon with one cup applesauce, rolled it out, and used cookie cutters to make stars, angels, hearts, camels and other shapes. (Bake at 200 degrees for about two hours.) We breathed in deeply to smell the sweet fragrance of the ornaments. The aroma invaded the entire house as they baked! That’s how God’s grace works, too. It transforms and overtakes every part of who we are. More than anything, God wants us to offer ourselves to Him as our gift this Christmas. We are worth more to Jesus than any treasure. And, God’s sweet grace is worth giving everything up for.

Wisemen ornament

Wisemen ornament