The Jesse Tree
What it is, what it means, and how to make one.
BY: Sheila Kielly and Sheila Geraghty
Excerpted from 'Advent and Lent Activities for Children' with permission of Twenty-Third Publications.
The Jesse tree represents Jesus' family tree. The name is taken from Isaiah 11:1, in which Jesus is referred to as a shoot coming up from the stump of Jesse, the father of David.
The ornaments on the Jesse tree tell of Jesus' ancestors, and of the events leading to Jesus' birth.
Adam and Eve
Apple (Genesis 2:4-3:24)
Ark or rainbow (Genesis 6:11-22, 7:17-8:12, 20-9:17)
Knife (Genesis 12:1-7, 15:1-6)
Ram (Genesis 22:1-19)
Ladder (Genesis 27:41-28:22)
Colorful coat (Genesis 37, 39:1-50:21)
Tablets of the law (Exodus 2:1-4:20)
Harp (1 Samuel 16:17-23)
Lion and lamb (Isaiah 1:10-20, 6:1-13, 8:11-9:7)
Lily (Luke 1:26-38)
Small home (Luke 1:39-55)
Hammer or saw (Matthew 1:18-25)
Roots are important parts of a tree. As people, we need to know our roots, as well. Often, we run from one thing to another without reflecting on where we've been or where we are going. As we create a Jesse tree during this Advent season, let us pause and look at our lives to see on whose shoulders we stand.
Make a Jesse tree for your home. First, take a large, bare branch and secure it in a pot of sand or rocks. (You can also use a large potted plant or evergreen.) Create ornaments that trace Jesus' royal line by making symbols for some of the people found in the Hebrew testament. Make the ornaments out of cardboard or construction paper and decorate as you like.
Instead of hanging all the ornaments on the tree at one time, you may want to hang one on every other day of Advent. Read the Scripture citation given here as you hang each ornament on the tree.