Just yesterday I blogged about not knowing which scriptures to start committing to memory, (verbatim with references!). I was having a tough time because I wanted this to be a God idea, not just a good idea. What did He want me to commit to memory? In the meanwhile, in my own life I have been on a journey to get to know this Jesus that I have served since childhood better. At age 52, (ouch!), I'm still amazed at how little I know about Him-how the deeper I wade into the knowledge of Him and His heart, the more bottomless I find the depths of Who He is to be.
So, randomly, I was thinking about next week being Thanksgiving, and then about getting out the Christmas decorations after that and into my mind pops my "new" little antique bowl.
I thought how maybe for Christmas I will take a little branch and "plant" it into a tin can with some plaster of paris, put the whole thing into the antique bowl, add a layer of rock salt into the bowl for a snow/ice effect and decorate the branch with some minature ornaments. And then the AH HA moment, which relates to the opening paragraph of this blog, and the whole memorizing scripture, and getting to know Jesus better. The AH HA moment was remembering that for advent some people have a Jesse Tree, taken from the passage in Isaiah 11:1 referring to the coming Messiah, Jesus, as a branch from the root of Jesse, King David's father. A Jesse tree is decorated with ornaments depiciting Bible events leading up to the Gospels. Now for the AH HA! Suddenly I thought, I am going to make my idea into a Jesse's Branch, and make little tags with a name of Jesus found in the Bible, (like The Way, King of Kings, etc.), for every day up through Christmas. On one side of the tag I will write the name, and on the other side I will write the reference where the name is found. AND, AH HA!, I WILL MEMORIZE, WITH THE REFERENCE, THESE SCRIPTURES...WHICH ALSO IS REVEALING MORE ABOUT WHO HE IS TO MY MIND AND HEART! YaY! I am very excited about this...and when I am excited about something, I want to get started now!
So I found these little tag thingies at the local office store. I could have made and printed tags on the computer, cut out Christmasy shapes out of construction paper, or numerous other things, but for some reason these came into my mind and I liked the idea. The reference where the name of Jesus is found will go on the back.
I didn't want the plain string that the tag thingies came with, so I replaced it with yarn. I dipped the end of the yarn into melted wax from a candle and let it dry so it threaded through the holes very nicely.
Today, I am going out looking for the perfect branch. I will also be printing out the scriptures in my little spiral bound index cards to begin my memorization. I am very excited. I have shared this idea with the ladies from our church, and many of them want to have a Jesse's Branch in their house this year as well. What a great way to count down to Christmas with the family, adding a name for Jesus to the branch each day, talking about it, reading the scripture. This month, many from our church have been participating in 30 days of Thanksgiving by posting something that we thank God for as our Facebook status each day. Next month, we are going to post on Facebook the name of Jesus that is going on our Jesse's branch each day. I really think this was a God idea!