The Jesse Tree
The idea comes from Isaiah 11:1:
â€œThere shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.â€
Long ago I decorated our Christmas tree as a “Jesse” tree, but if you use a small artificial tree or a branch in a vase ( I saw one idea using artificial crystal encrusted branches), you can implement the same wonderful symbolism as a reminder of the important highlights of Christmas: the celebration of Christ Jesus.
Some people use this as another advent tradition with 24 ornaments , one for each day, and scripture readings based upon that concept. I think this would be especially delightful for families with young children.
Some Ideas for Ornaments
- a tiny loaf of bread
- an apple
- a Noahs ark
- an angel “Fear not, Mary”
- a star
- a tiny gold chest
- the Chi Rho
- a sheep
- a shepherd
Some Concept Ideas
Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22
Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14
Symbols: candle, sun
Faith magazine has directions and downloads, for you.
Susan Hines-Brigger shares her memory and tradition:
The branches of the tree begin at the bottomâ€”represented by Jesseâ€”and end at the top with Christ. Matthew 1:1-16 presents the family tree from Abraham to Jesus, and Luke 3:23-38 chronicles from Jesus back to Adam.
Each day throughout the Advent season, one symbol is hung upon the tree. The symbols represent stories in the Old Testament of either an ancestor of Jesus or a prophecy foretelling his coming. Some of the symbols are a burning bush, Noahâ€™s ark, Jonah in the whale, the star of David, the apple and the snake, Jacobâ€™s ladder, a dove, the earth and others. The final symbolâ€”usually the Star of Davidâ€”is placed on the tree on Christmas Eve.
The placing of each ornament is then usually followed by reading the accompanying Scripture verse.