Friday, December 4, 2015

The Jesse Tree

Every year I think about old and new Christmas traditions, I want to start or continue with my family. We have things we do every year (here), but this year I am excited about our new tradition with Jesse Tree ornaments. I participated recently in a Jesse Tree ornament exchange.

A Jesse Tree is a tool to tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas story (or Easter). Each day has an ornament and a passage of scripture to read. The name itself comes from Isaiah: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-4 (ESV)

Jesus is a descendant of Jesse (King David's father) and the tree represents new life in him. (Of course there is more than one way to explain it! Here is another.)

There are different sets of characters, stories and scriptures in each listing, but our coordinator, Amber, came up with a set using the Jesus Storybook Bible. I used Pintrest to look for ideas, but love the unique ideas from our group! I have listed the day, Jesus Storybook reading, the character/idea with symbol and the passage of scripture. I hope to post pictures of all of them here with brief comments on materials.

Day 1: The Story and the Song (God speaks to us through scripture and the world), Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day 2: The Beginning: A Perfect Home (Earth/Creation), Genesis 1-2: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth

Day 2 Directions: I bought earth bouncy balls from Amazon. Then I bought a package of those hooks from the hardware store and spent about 5 minutes screwing them into each bouncy ball.

Day 3: Sin (created by Rhonda)
Day 3: The Terrible Lie (Sin in the Garden/Fruit & Snake), Genesis 3: So the Lord banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Day 3 Materials: foam pomegranate, copper wire (Directions)

Day 4: A New Beginning (Noah/Rainbow), Genesis 6-9: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Day 5: A Giant Staircase to Heaven (Tower of Babel/Ladder), Genesis 11: Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

Day 6: Son of Laughter (Abraham and Issac/Lot of Stars), Genesis 12-2: He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your seed be.
Day 7: Abraham and Issac (created by Elissa)
Day 7: The Present (Abraham and Issac/Ram), Genesis 22: Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and gave it as a present instead of his son.

Day 7 Materials: wax mold of a ram, wax

Day 8: The Girl No One Wanted (Leah/Girl with Heart), Genesis 29-30: Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my broken heart. Surely my husband will love me now.”

Day 9: The Forgiving Prince (Joseph/Colorful Coat) Genesis 37-46: Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a colorful coat for him.
Day 10: The Burning Bush by Katie

Day 10: God to the Rescue (Moses/Burning Bush), Exodus 3-12: There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.

Day 10 Materials and Process: I took a clean baby food jar, drew a tree with sharpee on the outside and baked in the oven for 40 minutes at 375. Then paint a layer of modge podge inside behind the tree. Sprinkle confetti of red, orange and yellow tissue paper into the sticky parts and coat with another layer of modge podge. For the hanger, I wound about 14 inches of 22 gauge wire around a marker, then twisted both ends with two pairs of needle nosed pliers. With another piece of about 5 inches of wire, I fed it through the two ends of the coiled length and did a single twist with pliers to hold it beneath the lip of the jar threads.

Day 11: God Makes a Way (Leaving Egypt/ Water Parting), Exodus 14-15: Moses stretched out his hand over the sea--. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

Day 12: Ten Ways to Be Perfect (Ten Commandments/Tablets), Exodus 16-17, 19-20: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

 Day 13: The Warrior Leader (Joshua/Brick Wall), Joshua 3 & 6: When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 

Day 14: The Teeny-Weeny True King (David/Crown), 1 Samuel 16: I have chosen one of his sons to be king

Day 15: The Young Hero and the Terrible Giant (David and Goliath/Slingshot), 1 Samuel 17: So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine. 

Day 16: The Good Shepherd (Psalms/Sheep), Psalm 51, Psalm 23, 2 Samuel 7: The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Day 17: The Young Girl and Proud General (Namaan/Broken Heart), 2 Kings 5: I will put my law on their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.

Day 18: Operation No More Tears (Isaiah/Cross), Isaiah 9, 11, 40: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.

Day 19: Daniel and the Scary Sleepover (Daniel/Lion), Daniel 6: My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.

Day 20: Get Ready (Ezra/Nehemiah, Trumpet), Nehemiah 8-10, Malachi 1, 3, 5, Ezra 7: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Day 21: He's Here (Bethlehem/Star), Luke 1-2: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

Day 22: He's Here (Angel), Luke 1-2: The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy to all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Day 23: The Light of the Whole World (Candle), Luke 2: Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation the to Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Day 24: The King of All Kings (Star), Matthew 2: "Where is the one who has been born the King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

Day 25: (Baby Jesus in the Manger) Luke 2:1-10: While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son.


Brief explanation of the Jesse Tree idea:
Jesse Tree Family Devotions:

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