Friday, 30 November 2012

Jesse Tree

Isaiah 11:1-5 Jesse Tree
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse
Isaiah 11:1-5
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The focus of the Bible is Jesus, the Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament we are pointed towards te coming of Jesus. God had a plan for the world, long before Jesus was born. Advent is the time when we wait for Christmas, enabling us to wait for the coming of Christ.  The prophecy above tells us that the Messiah would come from the line of Jesse. God had a plan for the world, long before Jesus was born. When we talk about our own family trees, we look backwards, but the Jesse Tree looks forward from the beginning of time, through Jesse, to the birth of Jesus.

This year we have decided to focus on Jesus during Advent, rather than just on Christmas day. It's very easy just to place all our attention on the big day, and forget about the time of waiting. Waiting is difficult, but a necessary discipline for life. The Jesse Tree is a vehicle to tell the story of Jesus as pointed to throughout the Old Testament. So this year, in order to keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas, we are using a Jesse Tree. The principle is that each day we will read a passage from the Old Testament, and discuss how Jesus is shown in that passage. It will begin with Creation and culminate on Christmas Eve with Jesus, the Light of the World, going through Jesus's ancestors on the way. Then we'll hang a decoration on our Jesse Tree.

Jesse Tree
Our Jesse Tree
I have made our Jesse Tree out of fabric and buttons, though you could use a tree branch or other alternative. I wanted our tree to last for a long time and become a family tradition. The decorations are made out of felt. Each decoration is a symbol from that day's Bible reading. We will read the Bible passages at dinner time, as that's when we're always together as a family, and then discuss while we eat. However, during the day, B and I will do some kind of relevant activities. I know she's a bit little to understand what it's all about this year, but it's good practice for us to get started now! And then, at bedtime, the hubby will read the Bible story from B's 'Children of God Storybook Bible.'

Each day I will blog the passage, with some thoughts on it (if I have time!). And I'll let you know what activities we did. So, feel free to follow along and join in.

And before we begin, can I invite you to reread the Messianic Prophecy above, and join us in praying for God's Kingdom to come, and for the birth of Jesus to fill us anew this year.

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