The First Day of Lent…DAY 1 ORNAMENT: THE MUSTARD SEED
Ahhhh…Wednesday, February 17th! The day we have looked forward to so we can begin our Lent Tree (GO TO CRAFTS and scroll down to EASTER – LENT TREE to download our guide to do one yourself!) When the children wake up–we’ll begin our first day of Lent together…with the first ornament: a teeny, tiny mustard seed. Our scripture reading today with the children is short–Matthew 17:20. Short, but not simple. It is about faith. And faith we will need on this journey to the cross.
Matthew 17:20 says, “And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Oh Lord, will you give my little preschoolers faith for this journey with us. Oh that Your Holy Spirit would teach them and do a miracle in their great big hearts the Lent as we travel the Lent Tree journey together…
Now it sits empty…but in a few hours it will have a mustard seed. If we have faith the size of an itty, bitty mustard seed…then nothing will be impossible for us.
We found twigs from our own yard for our Lent Tree. We attempted spray painting it white–but found it much easier to paint it with white acrylic paint and sponge brushes. Two paint cans are needed if you spray paint only. Just a small amount of acrylic white paint and a single sponge brush is needed to paint it yourself. This would be a fun (and messy…but in a good way…fun/messy:) do to with your children!
For those of you without little ones at home or with wee ones too young to understand, consider doing this with your spouse! This is a worshipful way to walk through Lent together, and what fun it could be to treasure hunt each day for that day’s ornament. At the end, you’ll have a precious set to keep in a Hope Chest for that baby you have hoped for or even as a gift to a grandchild. Either way, the Lent Tree isn’t just for families with children. I think adults enjoy it just as much…if not more!
A quick dish….
Ever in a fix for a last minute meal? Having guests over but not much time…and you would have children of all ages coming too? Here is a quick dish that takes 5 minutes to prepare…10 minutes to cook and wa la! A Yummy Meal!
2 lb Ham (already cooked and sliced) – [I couldn’t find a 2 lb-er…but 1.8 lb was close enough;)
1/2 cup orange marmalade (found in the jelly section…I actually used orange marmalade perserves…YUM!)
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1. Combine ginger, butter and marmalade. Melt together in microwave. This is your yummy glaze.
2. Cut apple in half and remove core—then slice.
3. Spray/grease pan and alternate slices of ham with apples. Pour marmalade on top and spreak over ham and apples.
4. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes (or until apples are soft). YUM.
We served this with sauteed and baked brussel sprouts. Super yum! The kids can’t get enough of either of these!!! If you’ve not a brussel sprout fan, then you need my recipe!
Then for dessert tonight…Quick and Easy Tiramusu!
This was another quick and easy recipe…and it was altered by yours truly;)…and quiet YUMMY! I’ll be munching on this throughout the day. No, dessert isn’t my choice for fasting this Lent—it wouldn’t be right for a “paper pregnant momma” who is adoption anxious to fast chocolate of any sorts;).
So…that was our dish for the Denton family—some of our DEAR friends who we dine with EVERY Tuesday night! We’ve been doing “Dinner with the Denton’s” EVERY TUESDAY night for over TWO YEARS now! Rain or shine…snow or sleet…we are feasting together and celebrating life together. Even with crazy schedules, sports practices…our commitment to do life together still stands strong. VERY little of our lives are written without the Denton’s some how in it.. I love having families to do life with! Their oldest son, Jack, is Laney’s age–today when I picked her up from preschool she informed me…”Momma, I’m gonna marry Jack and live at our house.” Perfect. They’ve been plotting and planning for years now—Jack even proposed back in the summer of 2009 unexpectedly before one of our dinners. Yes, some how it was miraculously caught on tape even. There’s some tough competition for anyone coming between those two I’m afraid!
Some things that jumped out at me in today’s reading…
Even if the people didn’t realize what they were doing was sin–they were still guilty (Leviticus 4). “But I didn’t know” wouldn’t work here. And ignorance never cancels guilt. Ouch. But it’s true. How many people don’t want to hear the truth because they think then they will be accountable for what they know? How many of us avoid digging into the world’s issues and problems for fear we might have to do something?
The sin offering—the higher the position of the sinner–the more expensive the sacrifice. Greater the priviledges, greater the reponsibility, the greater the consequences. And something amazing I read in a commentary–the sin offering had to be burned outside the camp because it was too holy to remain in an unholy camp. This was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who died “outside the city gate…outside the camp” as our sin offering”.
The rest of today’s reading classified which offering was to made for different sins. I can barely keep up! BUT for us—Jesus paid it all! ALL to Him I owe!!!
Warren Wiersbe says it this way….
He is our meal offering, the seed crushed and put through the fire, that we might have the bread of life,
and we must feed upon Him.
He is our drink offering who poured Himself out in sacrifice and service,
and we must pour ourselves out for HIm and for others.
He is our fellowship offering, making life a joyful feast instead of a painful famine.
He is our sin offering and our guilt offering, for He bore our sins on His body
and paid the full price for our sins.
“My soul magnified the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior!” Luke 1:46-47