The season of Advent is one of the most grace-filled and joyous times for us all. We come together with our families and friends and are oftentimes busy with preparations and parties. Our children often think of it as a time for presents and not the "presence" of Jesus, whose birth we are celebrating.
When we want to bring back the true meaning of Christmas, we don't have to think of something complicated. The Jesse Tree is a project we can do with children and doesn't take up much of our time.
WHAT'S A JESSE TREE?
If you've never heard of a Jesse Tree, don't despair! Help is on the way! You've come to the right place!
The Jesse Tree originated in the middle ages as a means of preparing for Christmas. It is essentially Jesus' family tree!
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." from Isaiah 11:1 shows us the prophecy of Jesus' coming. The tree stump represents all that has been left of King David's royal lineage - seemingly lifeless and insignificant. Yet, Jesus comes forth and brings not just life but salvation, not just to Israel, but for the whole of mankind.
The Jesse Tree's 24 ornaments symbolize the different Old and New Testament characters who are related to Jesus. One doesn't put up all the ornaments all at once. Each ornament is placed after reading a bible verse.
December 1Read Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-4The Story of Creation(Symbol: Sun)
December 2Read Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24.The Story of Adam and Eve(Symbol: Adam and Eve)
December 3Read Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24.The Story of the Fall of Man(Symbol: Apple)December 4Read Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24.
The Story of Noah(Symbol: Noah's Ark)
December 5Read Gen. 12:1-3
The Story of Abraham
December 6Read Gen. 22:1-14The Story of Isaac(Symbol: Ram)
December 7Read Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15.The Story of Jacob(Symbol: Ladder)
December 8Read Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15.The Story of Joseph(Symbol: Coat)
December 9Read Exodus 2:1-10The Story of Moses(Symbol: Baby among the reeds)
December 10Read 1 Sam. 3:1-18.The Story of Samuel(Symbol: Candle)
December 11Read 1 Sam. 16:1-13The Story of Jesse(Symbol: Shepherd's Staff)
December 12Read 1 Sam. 17:12-51.The Story of David
December 13Read Kings 3:5-14, 16-28The Story of Solomon
(Symbol: Scales of justice)
December 14Read Matt. 1:18-25The Story of Joseph, the Father of Jesus
December 15Read Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.The Story of Mary, the Mother of Jesus
December 16Read Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.The Story of John the Baptist
December 17Read Sirach 24:2; Wisdom 8:1Jesus is Wisdom
December 18Read Ex. 3:2; 20:1Jesus is Lord
December 19Read Isaiah 11:1-3Jesus is the Flower of Jesse
December 20Read Isaiah 22:22.Jesus is the Key of David
December 21Read Psalm 19:6-7Jesus is the Radiant Dawn
December 22Read Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20Jesus is King of the Gentiles
December 23Read Isaiah 7:14; 33:22.Jesus is Emmanuel
December 24Read John 1:1-14.Jesus is the Light of the World
HOW TO MAKE THE TREE:
Option A: Branches
Pick some fallen branches (don't saw these off from a tree!) and then use a big pot and some rocks or hardened cement to make it stand.
Once you've prepared your tree, print out the ornaments and cut out into circle. Number the ornaments so you know which day of Advent you'll put it up. Punch a hole in each ornament for some thread to hang up the ornament.
Option B: Wall Art
Get a piece of manila paper and draw a tree. It doesn't have to be too realistic. The important thing is to put drawings of branches were the ornaments will be pasted on (as if they were hanging).
Here are some samples of both options:
This one makes use of magnetic surface for the tree and ornaments on magnets.
Let us know if you liked this project and share what you've made with us in the comments section below.