Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thorns On theTree - Joy to the World

"Why are you putting it on the tree? It makes me sad," Zay said, his small face covered with a shadow of concern.

He peered up into the deep, green branches of our Christmas tree. Among the soft white lights and gem-hue baubles I'd placed a crown of thorns. Twisted. Sharp.

"It's about Jesus," Samuel said, before I could whisper a word. "What he did for us. What he came for."
A day earlier, my mom had taken the boys on a nature hike near my parents' home. They'd discovered a bramble - thick, gnarled cords of thorns. Mom cut a vine and carried it home. Dad twisted it round and secured the ends.

A crown.

Of thorns.

It traveled to our house, between booster seats and boys, in a basket.

But Zay was unsure about hanging it on the tree. It didn't seem to fit with cranberry garland and glittery snowmen and men in caps round and merry.

The harsh, spiky thorns didn't mix with holiday cheer.

I pulled Isaiah to my lap. We talked about the Babe. The manger. The angels and the shepherds and the stable and the star. But we talked about the rest, too.

Our fall.

Our sins.

His sacrifice.

His grace.

And Zay curled deep, head against my chest. Samuel folded in, too.

"You see, Zay," Sam said. "It is sad. But mostly it's happy. We'd be lost. Without him. He did it for us."


Well said, sweet Samuel.

The Babe, the manger, the thorns, the cross,

Our salvation. Redemption. Hope.

And joy.

Joy to the world...the Lord has come.

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