Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

04 January 2015

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas

Wishing you all a Blessed New Year, sharing an extended quote from my new favorite Christmas gift:

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas!

If we want our Christmas tree to really stand wondrous and full of meaning, the tree we really need to understand and be astonished by is the family tree of Jesus Christ. Because this is our story – your story.
God doesn’t cut off all the big cheaters, bad liars, weaselly sneakers, battling brothers, fighting families, and brokenhearted from His family tree – He makes families just like these perfectly His! He adopts all the messy and broken and imperfect people into His tree and His story and His heart, and He gives us His family name. He gives us His absolute perfectness and makes us alive and fully free.
Jesus comes right to your Christmas tree and looks at your family tree and says, I am your Rescuer, and I will set you free from all the brokenness and sinfulness and sadness. I’ll be the Gift, and I’ll take you. Will you take Me? Will you want Me?
Who says yes? Who doesn’t want to miss Jesus this year?
Who wants to wake up on Christmas morning with a heart that wants the greatest Gift the most?
(Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas, page 2)

This treasure had been unofficially on my wish list since last year, when I first heard that it was in the making. I was reading Un millar de obsequios: el desafío a tener plenitud de vida allí mismo donde estás (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are) by Ann Voskamp and was impacted by her thought-provoking and engaging writing style and was excited at the idea of the same ministry on a level Elizabeth and DJM could appreciate.

Incidentally, Ann Voskamp’s writing style reminds me of that of Sally Lloyd-Jones in two more of our family’s favorites: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story (and another new Christmas treasure).

Before even having children, I longed for them to develop a right perspective and understanding of why we celebrate Christmas! Even though Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is meant to be read starting on December 1st, celebrating Advent and counting down the days until December 25th, we started reading it this past week as a devotional, appreciating the greatest of all stories and getting ideas for how we will read it again (and make the Jesse Tree ornaments!) later this year. We are still, after all, in the Twelve Days of Christmas right now!

I see Unwrapping the Greatest Gift as yet another tool for equipping our own minds and our children’s minds, meditating on God’s great truths and plumbing the depths of meaning of our salvation.

I love tools that take me back again and again to the precious truth behind His Name:

You shall call His name Jesus, for Hwill save His people from their sins.

And for years now, I’ve liked the idea of a Jesse Tree; I just hadn’t taken the time to fully explore the idea. A main point of this devotional-style book is the interactive value of making an accompanying ornament for each Bible story. Lord willing, we’ll now look forward to making our family’s first Jesse Tree this coming December.

And just as I was writing this post, I discovered that Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas is 50% off at right now!

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