Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jesse Tree!

Noel and I have been looking for what we could do to make Christmas more about Christ and not so much about Santa and presents. Last year our friends the Carrell's started to do a Jesse Tree tradition, so I looked into that and thought that would be a great tradition to start.

What is a Jesse Tree?

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus. There are many ways to get ready for Christmas. One way is through a Jesse Tree.

What is a Jesse Tree? It is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus’ family tree. In Isaiah 11:1 we read, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse was the father of David, Israel’s greatest king. And it was from David’s lineage that Jesus came. That’s where the idea of using a Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent came from. Before a symbol is hung on the branch, a Bible passage or a story from a story Bible is read.

“The Jesse Tree is a unique Advent tree that can be very useful and fun for teaching children about the Bible at Christmas time. The Jesse Tree represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God’s salvation plan from creation and throughout the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (NASB)

Each day of Advent an ornament is added to the Jesse Tree, any small tree will work fine, and a correlating scripture passage is read. These symbolic ornaments each represent a prophecy foretelling of Christ, ancestors in the lineage of Christ, and various symbols of Christianity. “

*Adapted from About.com

Cheryl's mother, Colleen, decided that she was going to make ornaments for the Jesse tree and that we could buy them. Noel and I thought that this was a great idea since we wanted to make it a tradition and we could use the ornaments year after year. Here is the webpage where you can order the Jesse Tree ornaments or get more information.

We used this devotional and then added some of the other ornament options into the mix. This year we did 25 ornaments, but we will get the other 11 ornaments next year and do the entire lineage from creation to the birth of Jesus.

We made it through our 25 days and the "safari" looked forward to doing the ornament and the prayer that went at the end of each lesson. He is picture of our Jesse Tree, thank you to Colleen and the Carrell's for getting this tradition started in our family.

1 comment:

Trish said...

What a wonderful gift you gave the children this year with the Jesse Tree. I enjoyed the readings and prayer the times I was at the house. Every year that you do this, it will allow your children to really see what the Christmas season is all about. May God continue to bless you and Noel and Elijah, Joshua, Jacob, Esther, and Hannah. I love all of you very, very much. Mom