One of my favorite books as I learn to become an effective culture-maker in my home is Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noël Piper. When I read it several years ago I was struck by the idea of making a Jesse Tree, which basically uses symbols as ornaments to show my kids the story and/or attributes of Christ all the way through the Bible. This year I finally did something about it and organized a co-op in which myself and some of my friends made 15 copies of 2-3 different ornaments, then we had a party and took one of each ornament so we each had a complete set (and had some sets to give away as well.) There is an ornament for every day of December, beginning with Genesis on Day 2 and going all the way through to Revelation.
I also wrote a devotional, for my own benefit primarily, and I figured I would share it on my blog.
Here is the full 14-page PDF but it's not proof-read yet so I will be doing that as I post it each day ;)
Here is day 1:
Day 1 - Introduction to Jesse Tree
Read Isaiah 11:1-10
Symbol: Stump with Shoot
Christmas is coming soon! It will be here before we know it. Though we have 25 more days of waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the people of God had been waiting for thousands of years before He finally came to earth to die for our sins, rise again, and bring us back to God. God promised a Savior earlier in the Bible and more frequently than you might expect, and the Word is filled with prophecies and expectations that all point to Him.
To get our hearts focused on Jesus, we are going to use a Jesse Tree. Every day we will put a new ornament on the tree that symbolizes a person or event in the Bible that talked about Jesus before anyone even knew what His name would be. Hopefully through this study we will love Jesus more deeply and see how the Bible is one big beautiful story that even involves you and me. The Bible contains 69 books written by more than 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years, but the whole Book tells one story. In Luke 24:27, Jesus was talking to some of His disciples, “and beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” He started at the beginning of scripture and went all the way through to the end and showed his friends that He was in all of it!
As we read in Isaiah 11, Jesus was like a green plant shoot coming from a stump of Jesse. Tree stumps are usually a sad thing to see because it means there used to be a great tree, but it has now been torn down. Israel was once a great nation, and David (the son fo Jesse) was one of their most famous kings, but there came a time when their sin destroyed them and Israel became almost nothing. But God promised to a hurting people through the prophet Isaiah that there would be something green and alive coming from a stump…He hasn’t forgotten His people and He will bring something even better: His very own Son.
Jesus would come from a long line of people—many of whom made huge mistakes!—including King David, and his dad Jesse. Jesus chose to come as a shoot, a little acorn sprout—a little baby. Let’s fall in love with Jesus more and more as we see how the Bible tells His story.
ornament by my friend Whitney
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a rad guy, and raising three little people ages 1,3, and 5...and I'm now expecting my fourth. I like lime green, Coke icees, and I wear my Crocs until they have holes in them...or melt.
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Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today