This time of the year, everyone is singing Christmas carols and decking the halls with the finest of greenery. Moods are lifted and smiles are seen across many faces. This season is also known as Advent. Recently, I have been blogging on different ADVENTures you can embark with your family this holiday season.
Along with the Advent wreath, you and your family may enjoy having a Jesse tree. The tree is a symbol taken from Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” The verse describes Jesus’ family tree. Your Jesse tree can be as simple as a tree branch in a bucket of sand or a small sized Christmas tree. In our home we have a table top Christmas tree that serves as our Jesse tree.
The purpose of the Jesse tree is to tell the story of God’s redemption plan for us and the world through 25 symbols or ornaments if you will, from the Old and New Testaments. The ornaments follow the heritage of Jesus from the beginning of creation. The ornaments are hung each day beginning on December 1st and ends on Christmas day.
The first ornament symbolizes the preexistence of God before all creation. The second and third ornaments show the beginning of sin, the need for Jesus and God’s redeeming promise for us. Ornaments 4-9 show the covenant with chosen people who would be examples blessed by God. Through the chosen people, Jesus would come to fulfill God’s covenant. Ornament 10, known as the symbol of Ruth, explains the salvation plan will be for everyone, not just the Jewish race. Ornaments 12-13, shows Jesus’ royal lineage of the Jewish nation. Numbers 13-19 are the prophecies foretelling Jesus’ arrival. Ornaments 20-21 symbolizes the presence of God with His people in exile, return, and in times of suffering. Ornaments 22-24 is the Christmas story and number 25 is all about worshiping Jesus.
The ornaments can be store bought or handmade. In the book, The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Lambert, the author has Bible readings and devotionals for both children and adults. The Jesse Tree is a wonderful tool to make Christmas a time of celebrating Christ.
Symbols or Ornaments
for the Advent Jesse Tree
- a globe or a picture of the Earth
- an apple and a snake wrapped around it
- an ark with a rainbow
- a camel and a tent
- a lamb
- a ladder
- a colorful coat
- a tablet with ten numbers
- a cluster of grapes
- a sheaf of wheat
- a slingshot
- a scroll or Bible
- a stump with a fresh shoot or a green leaf
- a lion and a lamb
- a dove and a crown
- a lamb and the shepherd’s staff
- a cross
- a heart with writing on it
- a Bethlehem town silhouette with star
- a fiery furnace
- a brick wall
- a star
- a candle or light
- an angel
- a baby in a manger or a nativity scene
This will be the first time we have had a Jesse tree in our home. We are planning to have the daily devotions from Mr. Lambert’s book and the hanging of the ornament at breakfast. We will begin our meal with the devotion and the placement of the ornament will end our breakfast before we head out to school and work. This year we are planning to start our day with Christ at the breakfast table and enjoy dinner with Christ.
Come back tomorrow and I will show you one way to prevent the Christmas “let down.” Until then…..