Day 13

Advent Verses

Psalm 41:9   Even my close friend, whom I trusted,  he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Luke 22:3-4 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

John 13:18   "I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.''

Jesse Tree

Hebrews 11:31

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Today's ornament requires no drawing! Simply glue a strand of red embroidery floss or ribbon onto your ornament paper today.  If you are creating your own ornaments, the same red cord can tie onto your Jesse Tree to remind us of the red cord Rahab used to identify herself in the city of Jericho.

To Explore

Ave Maria, the Virgin Mary, the Madonna.  She is known by many different names, but we know her as the mother of Jesus.

*For those who are not Catholic, please do not be hesitant about pursuing this theme for today.  My family is not Catholic and the lesson will not delve deeply into that aspect. However, I do hope the lesson is balanced and respectful toward all Christians. For readers who are Catholic, you might want to preview the lesson so that you can explain how my representation of my beliefs differs from yours. And please, do not hesitate to contact me to let me know your thoughts!  My email is shared at the top of the page.

Mary has been the inspiration for many songs and artwork. One beautiful painting depicting the Virgin Mary is "Dolorosa Madonna". For a listing of more paintings, visit Martha Nation's Collection.

Mary has always been respected, even by early protestants.  John Calvin said, "It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of His Son, granted her the highest honor."  This statement calls to mind Elizabeth's cry of delight in Luke 1:42, saying ""God has blessed you above all women".

Two verses about Mary that challenge my heart are these:

Luke 1:38  "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.


Luke 2:19  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

"I am the Lord's servant", also translated 'bond-servant' or 'slave', this is referring to a life dedicated whole-heartedly to serving God.  I want to follow the example of this passionate devotion.

And as a daughter of the King and as a mother to my own children, I need to remember the necessity of pondering and savoring the moments God brings to me.  Each moment is precious.

Christmas Around the World


On December 8th, la Fête de lumières is celebrated.  This is a time when the French pay hommage to the virgin Mary by putting candles in their windows which light up the village.  French children also look forward to a visit from Santa Claus, known in France as Père Noël, and place their shoes in front of the fireplace for receiving goodies.  Some regions acknowledge a character known as Père Fouettard, who gives out spankings to naughty children, similar to our tale of receiving coal.

A popular style of Christmas tree in France is a Flock Pine These are found with white flocking to imitate snow, and even blue, red, or black!  Un-flocked, natural pines are called "sapins de Noël".  These are generally rather small because of limited space.

A popular French Christmas treat is the Bûche de Noël, which is a chocolate and chestnut cake roll filled with cream.  An important decoration is the Creche and Santons.

Catholicism is the main religion in France and many families attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, called  "la Messe de Minuit".  Following mass is a huge feast known as Réveillon.  After Réveillon, it's customary to leave a candle burning in case the Virgin Mary passes by.

To say Merry Christmas in French, say "Joyeux Noël".  You can hear it being said here -

Hands On

Mother and Child coloring pages -
Four Rivers Church
Mary Holding Jesus (good version for Stained Glass Art)

For a simple cut and paste craft:
directions -
template #1 -
template #2 -

Create a  Homemade Creche

The Magnificat Makes a beautiful piece for copywork.

Another beautiful piece for copywork is this poem by G.K. Chesterton:

A Christmas Carol 
The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown.
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.


Ave Maria
Link to lyrics and background information 
Link to Pavarotti singing 

Silent Night - also known as "Douce Nuit" in French. Here is an informal sample, a capella, with lyrics:





Slide Puzzle


La souris du Père Noël