The Jesse Tree Advent tradition marks each day from the first Sunday in Advent to Christmas. But instead of a traditional Advent calendar, the Jesse Tree uses ornaments to highlight moments in the Biblical storyline from Creation to the Cross. The tradition of the Jesse Tree dates back to the Middle Ages, with the name "Jesse Tree" coming from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit." Jesse is the father of King David. The savior was to come from David’s family line.
On the first day of Advent, take some time to look at, talk about, or create a simple version of your own family tree. You may have one in an old family Bible, or a digital version online. For simple templates, take a look at the Internet and choose one that fits the needs and interests of your family. If your family has an Advent wreath, it may be fun to light the candle(s) during this devotion time each day.
On the second day of Advent, introduce the Jesse Tree activity and how it will be a daily activity until Christmas. Now is the time to select the tree you will use and get the area and supplies gathered. Cross & Crown has Jesse Tree ornament magnet kits available for any family that would like one (email Lisa Stocks). You can also make your own ornaments and hang them on any tree you'd like.
December 1 through December 25
(1) Read or Watch a Daily Bible Story Video
During the Advent season, a Bible Story which relates to Jesus’ family or God’s people is read each day. Daily Bible passages for each day can be found in this downloadable Jesse Tree guide. To listen to daily Bible story videos shared by a storyteller from the IN-KY Synod, click here. The videos start on Tuesday, December 1 and continue until Friday, December 25. Watch a Daily Bible Story Videorightarrow
(2) Engage in Family Discussion about the Bible Story
After watching the daily Bible story video or reading the story in your own Bible, you may wish to engage in discussion about the story you heard. Discussion prompts for each day can be found in this downloadable Jesse Tree guide.
(3) Hang an Ornament on Your Jesse Tree
After the daily Bible story is read and discussed, place an ornament on your “tree.”
(4) Say a Daily Advent Prayer
A short prayer for every day in Advent can be found in this downloadable Jesse Tree guide.