I have spent many hours searching for crafts and activities to do with Ivy about Christmas. Last night, I couldn’t find anything that just jumped out at me. I was overwhelmed with all the ideas and just tired so I went to bed. I woke up this morning and wanted to jump right back on the internet and search for a way to make her excited about Jesus’ birthday, a cool craft or idea but I knew that I really needed time in the word.
Ellen, Lauren and I are reading through an advent devotional. Today’s reading was “Jesus, is the Light of the Nations.” One scripture that went along with this was Isaiah 49:1-7 “Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” But I said, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—He says, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” This is what the Lord says—the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: ”kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” There is a lot of things I could focus on in this scripture. I just jotted down thoughts that popped into my head about what God might want me to take from this scripture. Some were, “Jesus is God’s servant. Wow...I've never spent a lot of time thinking about Jesus being God's servant especially at Christmas time. I thought again of the title of today's reading, "Jesus is a light of the nations." Jesus is a light for all nations. Then I thought about the word Nations…sometimes I don’t get the full meaning of the word nations. I get world better. I think of a big piture of the world and then the nations. All the people of the world! The many, many people in the world.....
1. THEN I remembered what Ivy had asked me on the way home from church last night. She randomly said, “Mom, can I watch Jim Elliot when I get home?” “Mom, Jim Elliot is a missionary.” “Mom, are we going to seminary to become missionaries?” Ok, where did that come from? All we did at church last night was sing Christmas songs. I can barely wrap my mind around the possibility of going to seminary and Ivy is talking about being missionaries. I’m sure not there yet. My response, “um, Ivy, um, you will have to ask your dad that question.” She meant missionaries like Jim Elliot! I'm so thankful that He is working in her little heart!
I confess that I often get so wrapped up in me and my own little world that I forget about the nations. I pray every day that Ivy and Hayley would develop a desire to see “God’s glory declared among the nations and His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3) BUT, I seldom think about praying that for me! I too want to have a desire to see God’s glory declare among the nations. I REALLY think God is going to use Ivy to move me to pray for the nations, to love the nations!!! Can't wait to see what He does through her!
So how do I meditate on “Jesus is the Light of the Nations?” How can Ivy and I focus on this today? Jesus was born in a manger. Jesus was born to die. Without Jesus we are in darkness. Oh how pitiful I am to try to live without Him.
Yes, He was born for me! Yes He died for me, Ivy, Hayley, Brent, my family and friends but He also came for the Nations!
So today, we made a big construction paper world. Tomorrow we will make a world out of cookie dough!