Reach the beginning of time, and you reach the very heart of God.
Peel back every layer of every crowd, cull down all that clutter, and cut through every commotion;
and you come close to the thrumming heartbeat of the Creator.
The very beat of love.
What’s messing you up right now — isn’t what matters.
What matters is that nothing can mess you out of the mark of His love.
No matter what’s happened, or who’s let it happened; the Creator of all beginnings presses Himself close to you, and lets you know that through to the very end of time —
You’re created for Him.
And He’s been forever writing a love story for you.
A love story that reaches far, rescues deep, and restores you right back to Him.
So you’ll know you have forever a family in Him.
That you have a root, and You belong to Him.
From Creation to the Creche, He who incarnates Himself and surrenders might to meekness longs to ink salvation into humanity’s fallenness.
He whose love spans beyond every brokenness desires to fill all the valleys of every deep darkness.
He came bridging every impossible gulf of lost and drivenness, to bring us back to God, back to purpose and identity.
No one can ever take us out of His hands, or out of hope —
even when our own family tree looks like a fallen down, lifeless, broken stump.
“But out of the stump of David will grow a shoot” (Isaiah 11:1)
That Sunday we put up our Christmas tree.
Donned its limbs with baubles and lights, placed the star at the very top.
The year’s gone by so quick; chronicling a series of new beginnings for us.
Time really does fly when you’re having fun, but there must be a way to better capture it.
The almost 13-year-old wanted to have a go making terrariums with me.
It’s for her upcoming birthday party, a bit of a take-home gift she wants to give to all her friends; a current fascination with succulents and all things green and live.
This year we’ve had a go at keeping life.
From hermit crabs to fighting fish, from guppies to goldfish, and other types of tropical fish, we’ve had a fair go.
We’ve killed some and kept some.
But sometimes in a year with so much happening, a busy home needs a way to slow right down to memorialize every important discovery, so in time to come — anybody can anytime find their way back Home.
Writing a little here and a little there, reflecting both in the cracks and the chunks of remaining time, we find a new epiphany.
Our soul therapy.
This is the truth: We are never without hope when we are with Christ.
This Advent finds us slowing a little bit down for Christmas.
Because sometimes when you’ve lived long enough in the land of what looks like a broken stump; you forget what hope, love, and laughter may feel or sound like.
You forget that life begets life.
Or that seeds sprout, and guppies breed, and roots bear progenitors.
That what looked like the broken stump of Jesse’s family tree; filled with feuds, failures, and fatalities; came the promised Messiah.
God keeps the root robust and alive; bearing fruit, giving hope.
And this shoot of Jesse is the hope of all Gentiles.
What looks like a string of dead losses, confusing silence, deep darkness, comes the fulfillment of a promise.
His root, humble humanity, and meagre arrival makes Him one of us, so He can save all of us.
And in keeping this Christmas tradition alive, and in the making of our own simple Jesse Tree, we find a way of capturing God’s salvation story, of writing His narrative into our little story, and finding His greater story over every other story.
This is our lifeline out of the bane of mere existence.
This is the way we break mere busyness and make actual moments. This finds us seeking for every little new shoot, everywhere and everytime…