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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Activity - The Jesse Tree

As a parent, I have always wanted to make the Advent season more meaningful in our home, and shift our focus from "let's make Christmas wish lists and send Christmas cards and lets not forget to bake those cookies!" to more of the message God wants to convey to us during this time.
We have now enjoyed doing Advent readings for a few consecutive years, but this year we've decided to add a visual component: The Jesse Tree!

As is quoted in the resource mentioned below: "The 'Jesse Tree' is the story of our salvation, and the symbols depict the Messianic line, from Genesis to the birth of Christ. It is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. The ornaments are colorful and are placed on the tree daily, throughout Advent, after reading the corresponding Scripture passage....As your family reads the Scripture stories, God's plan of redemption will unfold, and the awareness of God's saving love for us through the gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ, will become more profound."

I purchased this resource at our local Christian store.
*I should mention here that this is a Catholic resource, however...apart from a couple of activities celebrating the Saints, I have found this book to be extremely resourceful, and otherwise Scripturally accurate for all other Advent family activities.*

Now, you can set up your Jesse Tree in many different ways:
- you can hang the ornaments on a traditional Christmas Tree;
- you can go outside and choose a nice branch off a winter tree, bring it inside and anchor it in a pot with some rocks, and set it in a visible area of your home;
- you can velcro fabric, felt, or embroidered ornaments onto a banner;

We chose to use up some empty wall space in our dining room and made a tree out of construction paper on our cork-board.

We posted Isaiah 11: 1 under our tree, which says:

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots."

And on the base of our tree we wrote "Isaiah 9:6", which quotes:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Then, beginning on the Sunday of the first week of Advent, we begin putting up symbols.
Each symbol comes with a scripture reference.
You can download a free devotional with instructions on how to make the ornaments here (I may save this one for next year, it looks so beautiful!)

This is what our ornaments look like, and as you can tell, all members of the family helped!

We look forward to celebrating God's plan for our salvation this season,
and I encourage you and yours to add simple activities that will enrich your weeks leading up to our celebrating the birth of our Saviour!

Have a blessed Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Bia! Thank you for posting this Jesse Tree advent journey on our blog. I am sure your kids are blessed in this event which draws them closer to Jesus!


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