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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Jesse Tree--A New Tradition in Our Home

This year we are starting a new tradition for advent--a Jesse Tree.  Each day, we will put an ornament on  our Jesse Tree and read the scripture and devotional that accompanies it.  We will follow God's story of creation to the fulfillment of His promise, Christ Jesus, and see how His fingerprint is on every story; making it a long narrative--His great plan--to offer us His grace and salvation.  It is my hope that this tool will help prepare our hearts as we wait, to celebrate the birth of Jesus;  that my daughter will see Him as the focus of this joyous season.

The name, Jesse Tree comes from Jesus' lineage starting with David, son of Jesse.  
Isaiah 11  (New Living Translation)

A Branch from David’s Line
 1 Out of the stump of David’s family [the tree of Jesse] will grow a shoot—
      yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
      the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and might,
      the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the L

 10 In that day the heir to David’s throne[b]
      will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
   The nations will rally to him,
      and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.

To get Ann Voskamp's free devotional book (downloaded) for The Jesse Tree Advent, click here.  It is beautifully illustrated and includes ornaments you can print off and use.  We decided to make our own, coming up with our own designs cut from felt.  My almost 8 year old had a ball and came up with some beautiful designs.  Thus far, we have done the first 8 ornaments (see pictures below).  I have looked up various information online for the Jesse tree and found MANY variations as to which Bible stories are highlighted in the devotionals, and which symbol is used on the ornament.  Also, some start with December 1, some start with the first Sunday in Advent.  I have included a list of websites at the end of this blog entry.

However you choose to celebrate this Christmas, I pray that you will prepare your heart to receive the amazing gift of love God offered mankind so many years ago.  Instead of "counting down" the days, wait with anxious anticipation.  Imagine the thoughts that ran through Mary's mind...the wonder of the shepherds as an army of angels appeared before their eyes on a dark night...the sight of the brightest star in the sky you have ever seen...and the humble beginnings of a baby born amidst cattle and sheep in a barn, laid on a bed of straw.  


Joseph's coat  &  Moses/the burning bush (Anne AshLee did the burning bush)

Issac--Ram (Anne AshLee did this one)  &  Jacob--ladder

Noah's ark &  Abraham--stars in the sky

Creation of the earth (by Anne AshLee)  &  Adam & Eve and the fall of man

Here are some other websites I found with Jesse Tree devotionals/patterns/etc:

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