In addition to our Advent calendar and Advent Activities, we have decided to embark on the journey of connecting the Old Testament with the New Testament through the use of the “Jesse Tree” this Christmas season.
The idea of the “Jesse Tree” stems from Isaiah 11:1-2:
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
There are several different ways you can do the “Jesse Tree.” Some start four weeks prior to Christmas while others start on December 1st. We decided to begin our “Jesse Tree” devotionals on December 1st. It will begin on this day every year. The reason? Well, I can’t count backwards four weeks from Christmas day. That is much too advanced for me. I needed to make it easy to remember. December 1st. We begin Advent and “Jesse Tree” activities and devotionals. Easy enough, right?
Each day, we read from scripture, starting at Creation and ending at the birth of Jesus, and we hang an ornament to represent that day’s reading. Every story points to Christ as the Messiah – the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies. It is true that every scripture breathes the name of Jesus. It has been so rewarding to have these scriptures come to life for us through the use of our “Jesse Tree.” The visual element of the ornaments helps the stories stick with us long after our reading.
We recycled our “Thankful Tree” to use as our “Jesse Tree.” I simply love it. We are also making our own ornaments as we go, or finding them really cheap at the store. Some days we don’t get around to actually making that day’s ornament, or we never find just the right one, but that’s okay. We will try again next year (and the next) until we have all our ornaments! We’re in no hurry. We’re enjoying the process.
Below you can find pictures of our ornaments. I will be updating this page as we complete each day. Remember, we’re not going for perfection, so we might miss a day, but at least you can have some ideas for your own “Jesse Tree.”
Jesse Tree Oranaments
December 1 – Jesse Tree – Pine Needles
December 2 – Creation – Earth
December 3 – Adam & Eve – Apple
December 4 – Noah’s Ark – Rainbow
December 5 – Promise to Abraham – Starry Sky
December 6 – Issac – Bundle of wood
December 7 – Jacob – Ladder
December 8 – Joseph – Multi-colored yarn
December 9 – Moses – Table of 10 Commandments
December 10 – Ruth – Wheat
December 11 – Joshua – Scarlet cord
December 12 – Samuel – Horn
December 13 – David & Goliath – Slingshot
December 14 – David – Crown
December 15 – Jonah – Whale
December 16 – Isaiah – Baby
December 17 – Micah – City/Bethlehem
December 18 – Esther – Gold sceptre
December 19 – Zechariah & Elizabeth – Pencil & Tablet
December 20 – John the Baptist – Shell w/ water
December 21 – Joseph – Hammer
December 22 – Mary – White Lily
December 23 – Journey – Star
December 24 – Jesus – Sandals
December 25 – Christ – Candle
What about you? Does your family use a “Jesse Tree” for teaching your children the connection between the Old and New Testament?
Other Posts for the Advent Season: