Last week in my post about Advent traditions, one of the things I mentioned was the Jesse Tree and its ornaments that represent different parts of the biblical story leading up to the birth of Christ. Our family has been enjoying Ann Voskamp's advent gift of A Jesus Advent Celebration -- but because the readings we have done in past years don't all match the ones in her book, I have needed to create some new ornaments to represent the different passages. While that seems a bit inconvenient, having spent so many years creating and collecting the ornaments that were dictated by our former schedule of readings, I have actually found it quite enjoyable to be forced to think about how to represent different concepts in a visual, tangible way. Granted, I have been heavily influenced by Nancy Rodden's illustrations in the book (which can be printed to create your own paper ornaments) -- but I have been challenged to find my own ways to represent those images, and even to come up with my own ideas about how to depict a passage with a 3D ornament when I can't come up with one that parallel's Nancy's.
Some have been easy. To represent Isaiah 11:1-2, the passage that introduces the stump of Jesse, we hung a little plastic tree that we had previously used to represent the story of Moses and the burning bush (I know, it ain't pretty!):
To represent Isaiah 11:1-9 and the "New Kingdom Coming," I simply glued together two animal toys:
And to represent Micah 5:2-5, "Lifting up the Little and Small" I just clipped a part of an old Christmas card and strung some ribbon through it to represent Bethlehem (I couldn't think of how to do it in 3D -- any suggestions? ):
A little more difficult was depicting "Laugh," Genesis 21:1-7, in which Isaac was born to Sarah and Abraham in their old age and Sarah laughed (again) at God's idea that she could birth a child when her husband was 100 years old. Here is my dismal attempt at an artsy, layered collage ornament to reflect the idea that God brings us joy and laughter:
|Text: "The Lord has done great things and our hearts are filled with JOY!"|
If I can find a better way to represent this passage, I will create another ornament, because I'm not happy with this one. In the meantime, I think it will serve the purpose.
So here's my challenge to you:
Create an ornament to represent some concept or event that is important to you.
It doesn't have to be a Christmas ornament -- it can be related to a favourite book or poem, a particular time in your life, a special trip, or a theme that you discuss often as a family (such as the importance of honesty, or a favourite verse). You might even make one to represent how you feel about a particular person or topic. The important thing is that you take an idea, event, or concept, and create something tangible to represent it.
Enjoy the mental exercise and the physical challenge!
And don't forget to tell me about it!