What's a Jesse Tree you ask? We thought the same thing when our church announced it was going to help families do these this year. I had never heard of it, but now it's popping up everywhere (kind of like when you choose a baby name thinking it's all original and then you realize it's everywhere you just weren't paying attention before!!).
So a Jesse Tree is an Advent tree used to teach the story of God's salvation plan all the way from the beginning of creation through the coming of Christ. Each day you add an ornament or do an activity that helps keep you focused on "the reason for the season". 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." I don't know if they all teach this way but our church has the kids thinking about "the root, the shoot and the fruit" as we go.
It seems I've always wanted to find a way to keep our focus pure each year but Christmas cookies, presents and parties quickly take over. I'm really looking forward to giving this a try. Yesterday was our first day and our job was simply to find or make our tree. I found this branch out back and thought it'd work and is kind of cool looking on our table. This year we'll be making ornaments (our church provided some wooden discs and pictures to cut and glue) but I'm assuming if we like it we can just re-use them every year and the kids will know the story better and better. Kind of like using Resurrection Eggs at Easter. I'll let you know how it goes!
If your interested in doing a Jesse Tree of your own, I Googled it before posting and a bazillion places popped up with ideas for making your own ornaments and even free devotionals all ready to go. Check it out and join us!