I love watching my kids during Christmas. It’s a refreshing reminder of a child-like exuberance that I need in my life.

They love every part of the season. The snow, food, family time, music, the Christmas story, and yes—the surprises. 

We always have a traditional Christmas tree, stockings and wrapped gifts, but for the last several years I have added an extra layer of excitement to the Christmas morning festivities. We do a scavenger hunt! Once the gifts are open the kids read the first clue and the hunt begins. After pulling clues from hidden areas all over the house, they have another gift revealed. Most of the time it is an experience that we will do together. A short family getaway or trip to a favorite restaurant are common rewards at the end of the hunt.

I’ll be honest. I tried the scavenger hunt years ago with low expectations, but it has become one of our favorite Christmas traditions. I’m glad it has, because it serves as an important reminder to us every year. There is mystery in this adventure of following Jesus. 

There is mystery in Jesus coming as a helpless baby. There is mystery in His love and sacrifice.  There is mystery to God’s decision to use flawed people to accomplish His purposes. There is mystery in the beauty and brokenness that we see all around us. And there is mystery in how we fit into all of that today.

Remembering to embrace the mystery of the kingdom is what makes the adventure of life as a Jesus follower make sense. Sometimes I need a scavenger hunt to remember.


I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

- Colossians 1:25-27 


God, you are awesome in every way. Thank you for inviting us into the mystery of Your work in the world. Help us to embrace that mystery, relinquish control and trust in Your plan. Give us the courage to take the next small step of obedience with You so that a little more of the kingdom will be part of the world around us. We trust You as our Provider. We put our hope in You alone. Forgive us for the times we put our hope in other things. Keep our hearts steady and our eyes focused on things of eternity.

You can read the rest of our team's Christmas traditions on the blog.