And beginning at Moses and all the prophets,
he expounded unto them in all the scriptures
the things concerning himself.
— Luke 24:27
This is our second year using a Jesse Tree. Part of the appeal was to have something to do in the morning while my husband was at work, being that Advent (with the candles and such) has always been his domain. I had heard good things about the Jesse Tree tradition, but I really wasn’t even sure what I was doing when we started. We figured it out as we went along.
And, oh, what a blessing it has been.
When else do I walk my children through the entire Gospel in a short 24 days?
With each story, with each turn of the page, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness to His covenant, from Adam and Eve, to Jesse and his son David, and on to Christ … and beyond. When God promised Adam and Even that He would crush the serpent’s head, when He sent redeemer after redeemer to His people to preserve them and make way for the One who would Redeem in full, when He provided a ram for Abraham and promised Him that He wouldn’t be the father of a mere ethnic nation, but of all the nations that Jesus commanded His people to make disciples of — we stand in awe of each reminder that God began a good work in the beginning, and He really will bring it to fulfillment.
We’ve been using The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean. It sticks pretty closely to Scripture, so I’m happy. Yes, there is a grumpy old man throughout, but isn’t that one of the themes of the many Christmas tales out there? Grumpy-old-man-finds-joy? There is something to that theme, I’m sure.
We made our own ornaments (I just used black and white clip art and they colored them all in with colored pencils and then we “laminated” them with packing tape), and we’re hanging a new one up each day, on the wall tree Grandma gave us years ago when we were fewer in number.
It’s a simple tradition, and I love it. I am so grateful to whomever decided that a Jesse Tree was more than a decoration carved on a wall or stained in some glass in a church somewhere, but that we could imitate it in our own homes.
What about you? Do you Jesse Tree?
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