Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Jesse Tree

If you're looking for a unique and meaningful way to celebrate advent and the reason for the season, you should consider making a Jesse Tree.

What is a Jesse Tree?

The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus and tells the entire story of God's salvation plan, beginning with creation and making it's way through the OT, showing how it all points to the coming of the Messiah.

Each day of Advent focuses on one story in the OT and a homemade ornament is added to the Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree can be a small Christmas tree, it could be any tree-type plant in your home, it could be branches sticking out of a pot, or it could even simply be a hand-drawn tree shape.

This year, I came across a beautiful Jesse Tree Advent Devotional Book that is being given away for free, by Ann Voskamp at her blog A Holy Experience.

According to her site, each day's journey includes...

  • The full Bible text of the day’s reading in either NCV or NIV (of course, feel free to read from your own Bible, if you’d prefer another translation.) Readings are selected to begin in Genesis and cover significant events throughout the Old Testament — each story pointing to the coming Messiah. It’s like an overview of the whole span of His Story — leading right up to the climax of the coming Christ!
  • A devotional that (humbly attempts!) to be a read-aloud for the whole family – engaging enough for young children and yet meaty enough for teens and adults. (Thank you for grace!) Each reflection endeavors to not only highlight an important scene from God’s epic in time, but to always unwrap more of Jesus, the gift hidden in every story.
  • a short, simple action point for the day — “Unwrapping more of His love in the World” — a way to do something together as a family that not only invites the coming Kingdom of God and Jesus’ love into your home and community, but is an opportunity to apply and live out the day’s devotional. It’s like an Advent Calendar that gives back – becoming more like the gift Himself!
  • a full color ornament, illustrated by Nancy Rodden and used with permission, to hang on your own Jesse Tree. The very last pages of the book include all of the ornaments in over several pages so you can easily cut each ornament out and creatively mount to your own preferences
You might be thinking that it's too late, because we're already part-way into advent. That would normally be my perfectionist excuse. But, apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks! I don't care that we're starting late, we're still doing it! I'm going to try to do 2 each day until we're caught up. If I find that too much, we'll just skip to the present and go from there. And, instead of trying to make the ornaments all fancy, as per my perfectionist tendencies, I'm printing them on cardstock, mounting them on red cardstock paper, punching holes in them and hanging them like that. Maybe next year I'll get more creative, but the kids won't care!

I think I'd like to do something like this - not much more complicated really, but I don't have any ribbon on hand!

I highly encourage you to take a look at Ann's book at this link. She includes sample pages so you can see what it's like - you won't be disappointed!

You can also buy ornaments to match the advent topics - check out this blog for some great inspiration.

And, of course, there are Jesse Tree books you can purchase such as Advent Jesse Tree Devotions which has separate devotions for children and adults so both parents and children can benefit from readings at their level, and The Jesse Tree which is in more of a storybook format. I'm tempted to get these both ;)

I think we've just found a new tradition!


LaughingLady said...

I've heard and read so much about this every year since starting to blog, but still never done anything about it. I saw this a few days ago linked from someone else's blog and was very interested. Maybe what I need to do is print out the book and start planning NOW already to start this tradition next year!

The Faris Fam said...

Do you know where I could find the printable ornaments PDF that are in color? I can't find those anywhere and they are so much cuter than the current free ones being offered :(

TammyIsBlessed said...

Unfortunately, because of her new book "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" and the corresponding free printables, it looks like these old ones are no longer available. I thought I would've saved a copy of them, but I cannot find it on my computer anywhere.


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