We have a God of surprises! And by Grace alone, the Jesse Tree Service
came together is a really lovely way.

     I awoke to a cold sunny morning and was
ready with my basket and poster when Nick came to pick me up soon after 9am. I
had to share the back seat of the van with the prickly trunk of what was to
become the Jesse Tree but it kept to its side of the seat so I was not harpooned
during the drive to Church!

     Liz arrived by 930 and the final plan was
brought together on the fly. Nick typed a running order into the Power Point,
Blair tuned up his guitar and Liz and I ran around arranging 4 tables of craft supplies
in various rooms.

The Service began with the lighting of the second Advent Candle and a
set of Advent-Themed worship songs and then Nick gave a brief description of
the Jesse Tree, showing some “Googled” images.

Although Emma was the only little one there today, and too tiny to do
much in the way of ornament making, adults of all ages seemed quite happy to
cut and paste when Liz explained what was happening and numbered them off into
4 groups.

After 20minutes or so we gathered again and the 4 designated readers
each read the verses corresponding to their group’s ornaments, all this interspersed
with the singing of Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel and with a short narration led
by Liz. The ornaments were super and included everything from a Cubist version
of a Raven to a lovely curled paper rose.

After they had all been placed on the Tree
the Service concluded with a time of prayer and a rousing chorus of “Go Tell iton the Mountain.”

 I am
just so thankful that is did come together, although I will never be a convert
to “on the fly” planning!

There was ample opportunity to reflect on the Service while walking home
briskly in the cold sunshine.

Soon it will be time to light the second candle, to read the passage
about John the Baptist and to hunker down for the evening.

The coming week holds a HUGE amount of food preparation as a friend has
managed to coerce me into catering two dinner parties for 20 people each (on
the 17th and 18th) plus this week includes a supper with a former Team Leader,
the provision of dinner for 3 young men, a lunch with my former secretary
and her husband and High Tea with 2 former Team Leaders who have recently
started “going steady”; all that BEFORE the Day Camp Committee dinner on the
16th and then the 2 meals for 20. AGH!!!

What Blessing it is that I do really love