25 Jacaranda Trees

Dec 17 2014

One of my great joys is to oversee the wonder and spectacle that we endeavour to create at Hillsong Church each Christmas.  So, whilst December is a big time for everyone, it's particularly big in our family!

My daughter Zara is about to turn 6 years old, on December 15th, and whilst we've always made a special celebration for her, her birthday always seems to fall on one of the big days of our Christmas Spectacular services, so we've never really had a big party (we really could have scheduled that better couldn't we…).

All that is set to change this year… we're having  a party! (one week earlier… but please don't all come, could be awkward). Standby fairies, cupcakes, the musical statues game, pass the parcel and so much more. It might be possible that Dad will enjoy it even more than little Zara… could be close… will keep you posted 🙂

Anyway, I'm telling you about Zara's party, because, in the face of all that we have in front of us this December, I really still wanted to take the time to make a big deal about her birthday. 

Driving to church the other day, Zara kept pointing out all the lovely Jacaranda trees (trees that burst into a canopy of blue flowers each November in Australia). On the spur of the moment, I thought I'd take the opportunity to create (I hope) a life memory for her.  I asked her,

“Do you know what Jacaranda trees mean, Zara?”

“No, Daddy, what do they mean?”

“Well, whenever you see a Jacaranda tree with flowers on it, that's God telling you He loves you… and that it's going to be your birthday soon!” 

The smile on her face was a sight to behold. And now, every time we see a tree (and I do mean EVERY time, and there are about 25 between home and church), she sings out

“Someone loves me!!!!”

And I ask her who, and she says “God! AND, it's my birthday soon!”. Meanwhile, our 3.5 year old is going full speed yelling “Jacaranda! Jacaranda! Jacaranda!”.  It's a family event… And, it's my prayer that she has that experience of remembering God's love, and the value of her birthday, every Nov/Dec for the rest of her life.

And for you too!  Amidst all the costumes, fireworks, live nativity animals, incredible worship, inspired teaching, songs, dancing, lighting, mirror balls and so much more… I pray that this December, that you would have a true understanding of just how much God loves you. Feel free to borrow a Jacaranda tree or two as your drive around, as a special reminder…

As I write this, I'm listening (on repeat… iTunes play count 83 and counting…) to a song on our Christmas worship recording… 'Our King Has Come'.

…Let all the earth rejoice, O let us adore Christ the Lord, Christ the Lord. For the Lord has done great things, For the Lord has done great things, Oh how my soul sing…”

The Lord HAS done great things, and I pray that you and your family will embrace all of heaven's promises available to you this Christmas. Soak yourself in His presence, and let Him speak wonderful things into your heart. 

Remember He loves you…

December can be very busy… but don't let that stop you from being positioned for an incredible time of faith, friends and family in and around church. They call it “the most wonderful time of the year”, for a very good reason! 

I hope, trust and pray that you all get to experience the wonder of Christmas this year. We couldn't be more excited!

Josh Bonett
(Creative Special Events Producer) 

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