26 November 2013

The Jesse Tree: An Advent Celebration

jess tree twigs

(The image above uses simple branches in a vase and cut-out ornaments you can find online.)

Can you believe it? It’s almost Thanksgiving! I’ll be hosting this year for my family and I must say, I’m feeling pretty relaxed. Maybe it’s because the older I get, the less time I spend fussing about things like the perfect menu or the house being just so.

In other words, I’m realizing that time spent together and love should be the main ingredients of any holiday gathering. The results…a woven tapestry of beautiful memories, old and new.

My plan: Keep it simple and enjoy the moment! It really is my favorite holiday. 

Just a few days after Thanksgiving, we plan to start a new Advent Celebration this year! My girlfriend, Melissa introduced me to the Jesse Tree about a month ago and upon researching it together, we decided to start the new tradition in both of our homes.

What is a Jesse Tree?

The Jesse Tree represents the family tree, or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God's salvation plan, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."

Each of the 25 devotional readings, one for each day of December, starting on December 1st, highlights a Scripture passage from the Old Testament and Jesus’ family line, a grace story of hope, a fresh, unexpected devotional to take you into the heart of Christmas, and is accompanied by an ornament to hang that day, so that you have a tree telling the story of Jesus’ coming right from the beginning, a grace tree, a gospel tree — the full love story of Christmas.

Jesse Tree

This example uses a potted tree with felt ornaments.

 

Jesse felt

For you sewing aficionados, here’s a felt tree with felt ornaments that you could hang on your wall.

 

Jesse tree homemade

(Or, you could simply use a small fake tree and make homemade ornaments).

I love the fact that a Jesse Tree can be whatever you want it to be. There is no right way to create it.

I’m planning on having the girls make as many of the ornaments as possible. I figured it would double as a creative art project for them. We haven’t quite decided on what we’re using for our tree yet but I guess we better decide soon! December 1st is right around the corner! 

We found this book to use as a fun accompaniment.

the Jesse Tree

As Mr. Butterfield carves a Jesse Tree in an old dusty church, a curious young boy distracts him, asking about the various symbols on the tree. Against his better judgment, the old man finds himself retelling the familiar Biblical tales that trace the lineage of Christ, from the Garden of Eden to Jesus' birth. Under the carpenter's skilled hands, the Jesse tree grows--and an unlikely friendship begins to take root as well.

And for the scripture readings and devotionals, we’ve decided to use Ann Voskamp’s:

Jesse Tree Advent Celebration.

Jesse Tree advent

The girls are SO excited!!

Did you know that the word "Advent" comes from the Latin word adventus, which means "coming." Advent is the commemoration of the coming of Christ-- the Messiah, and the anticipation of the Second Coming of our Lord! Despite the commercialism and shopping galore, it's what all the hustle and bustle is ultimately all about. It’s what we are preparing for... in our hearts and in our homes.

C.S. Lewis once said,

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

Let us be among those who are anticipating, preparing, meditating upon the Coming, the Advent of Christ!

Anonymous said...

Advent is almost here!!! It's one our families favorite traditions too. Loved CS Lewis' quote. The Jesse tree looks like a great way to celebrate Advent. Can't wait to hear all about it. Xoxo. Hailey

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