Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Jesse Tree for Advent

Advent begins on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas Day. The word "Advent" means "coming". It refers to the coming of Jesus, the promised Messiah. The use of a Jesse Tree during the Advent season is a great way to "show and tell" the redemption story and the "coming" of the promised Savior! You simply hang up ornaments each day before Christmas as a "count down". The ornaments represent the lineage of Jesus and important events in the Bible leading up to his birth.

Jesse Trees date back to the middle ages. Even some ancient cathedrals have Jesse Tree designs in their stained glass windows. The idea for a Jesse Tree is inspired from Isaiah 11:1, "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit." (Jesse was the father of King David.) In Matthew chapter one, the Messiah, Jesus, is traced from the line of King David, and back to Abraham.

You can make a Jesse Tree by hanging your ornaments onto an interesting looking tree branch which is set into a stand or pot of soil or sand that is covered with a pretty fabric. Some people make Jesse Trees out of felt or fabric to hang on a wall. Hopefully we will have 25 hand made ornaments to hang for each day of December!

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