Apologies to those who were following the Jesse tree posts - I bit off more than I could chew in an especially busy advent, and, alas, that was the thing that was dropped. I still did it every day, just didn't have the energy, time or whatever to post here.
Today I added the final symbol, and have to admit I am quite pleased with the result. The pinnacle of the story is not someone powerful or someone with a story to tell, but a newborn baby. Yes, sure, this is God incarnate, this is the Christ child, but, as represented here, a baby whose story is as yet unknown. Unable to speak, other than to cry with hunger or pain, or to gurgle with joy, he cannot announce or denounce anything. Utterly dependent on his mother for food, security and warmth, he cannot heal the sick, feed the hungry or raise the dead. This choice of 'kenosis' of self-emptying defies logic - why would a God take such a huge risk?
Also, as I look at the tree I have made, I see how layer upon layer of human story somehow underpins this story or upholds this child whose symbol is the pinnacle of it all. Somehow, all those flawed people are part of this amazing story of love and new beginning.
Perhaps this is the key to it all - the profound mystery that never-ending love is found in the frailty and vulnerability of all life.
It doesn't matter that I ran out of steam and didn't complete the Advent books I began with such earnest intent. It doesn't matter that the everyday crowded out the overtly devotional. What matters is that God still chooses to be born again in the hearts and minds of frail, failing people, as, once more, the gift of love completes the story.