I call my daughter “Little-Bit.” That right there should tell you something about her. She’s a tiny little thing. She’s almost two and is 25 pounds soaking wet. My brother earned the word “Esquire” after his name. That title could lead you to know more about my brother. He worked hard to become a lawyer, he’s intellectual, he values education, he likes information, and he’s also very hard-headed and stubborn.
Names and titles tell us about people. They give us insight into who they are, what they value, and their character. Our God is so vast and so big – one name can’t be used to describe Him. The Bible uses dozens of names and titles for Him. Each name describes a particular characteristic or attribute of God. They help us understand more about who He is: more about His power, His might, His love, His grace, and the depths of His heart.
One of my favorite names of God is El-Roi, which means “The God, who sees.” There have been times in my life when I’ve felt alone, forgotten, tossed aside. It’s a reminder that God sees me during times I’ve felt hidden from the rest of the world. He sees the depth of my pain, of my joys, of my fears, of my hopes. He sees all the sides of me and loves me the same.
Advent is the idea of preparing for a notable event. It has become synonymous with the month of December and the days leading up to Christmas. What better way to prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus than to get to know the One who sent Him. I created this advent calendar about 3 years ago. I wanted something interactive for my kids but also something that would point us toward scripture and keep our focus on Christ during the holiday bustle.
I’ve taken 24 ornaments and written a name or attribute of God on each one. We keep them in a vintage glass jar near our fireplace. Starting on December 1st, we pick an ornament each day to hang on the tree. There’s no particular order, but before we hang it on the tree, we read the corresponding scripture and talk about what that specific name tells us about God and how we’ve seen evidence of His hands in our family over the past year. These ornaments are a different color than the rest of my ornaments so even though they are small they still stand out. On Christmas day we wake up to presents under a tree filled with the awesomeness of God.
You can find a list of the names and verses here.
This tradition has grown with us over the years. When I started it Cam couldn’t read and we spent a lot of time defining the words. Each year, we add another layer to the principle and what it says about the heart of our Heavenly Father. This year, Cam will look up and read each verse for us. My hope is that as the years continue to pass our conversations will continue to get deeper and our faith will continue to get stronger.