Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jesse Tree

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1 NIV)

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Preparing our hearts and minds for the coming of the Christ child. It seems like I blog about our Advent traditions every year. Are they still traditions if you never do the same thing twice?! Darn you Internet, with your many good ideas.

Anyway, I thought we'd do something different from the average Advent calendar countdown this year. One of the blogs I follow, A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp, posted about a free Advent Christmas devotional (who doesn't like free?!) so I checked it out. Click here to read the post and download the devotional.

A Jesse Tree is a depiction of the ancestry of Christ. The best thing about the Jesse Tree is how it illustrates our rich history. You can feel God's unending love through the stories of the people, patriarchs and prophets. You can follow--and eagerly anticipate--Christ's future by looking at the past.

So here's what I did. While taking Ollie for a walk this week, I found the perfect branch. It was on the curb to be thrown out, (hello, free!) but was perfect for the project. I snapped it off, then had to figure out how to carry it and still hold onto Ollie's leash. I feel I need to explain this to anyone in town who happened to see me doing this--I might be crazy, but I'm crazy for Jesus!

I grabbed a pot I already had (a beautiful old one from my deceased Grandma Josie), some foam stuff for arranging flowers, and some moss. I cut the foam to fit in the pot, stuck in the branch, and covered the top with the moss. This will be the "tree" part of our Jesse Tree.

I printed off the ornaments from the devotional guide and had them laminated. I used a craft knife to make a slit in the top and slid a ribbon through.

We'll read the devotional and add an ornament each day of Advent. As the days draw nearer to Christmas, our hearts will draw nearer to the promises of Christ. And our bare Jesse Tree will be filled with the "fruit" of God's love.

How does your family celebrate Advent?

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