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How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree was written by Tara Ziegmont, owner of Feels Like Home Blog, and is designed to make the celebration of Advent simple, memorable, and gospel-focused for the entire family.
Daily readings corresponding with 28 symbols from the Old and New Testaments, short prayers, songs, and extension activities provide a flexible and engaging approach to celebrating Advent for children ages 3-16 and the adults who love them.
WHAT IS A JESSE TREE?
The Jesse Tree is a special kind of Advent calendar that traces the lineage of Jesus the whole way through the Old Testament, back to God Himself at Creation.
Named for Jesse, the father of the famous King David from the Bible, the Tree of Jesse is a traditional emblem in Biblical art. It is also where the concept of a family tree came from. So when you are studying the Jesse Tree, you are really studying the origin of all genealogy itself.
This Jesse Tree includes devotions on traditional Advent concepts (light, hope, & peace), as well as the following Biblical heroes:
- God & Creation
- Adam & Eve
- Zechariah & Elizabeth
- John the Baptist
It also includes a lesson on the journey to Bethlehem.
WHY CELEBRATE WITH A JESSE TREE?
It is so important to me to focus December on Jesus, especially as my kids are thinking about Christmas lists and Christmas cookies and Christmas parties.
Santa comes to our house on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day is so much about presents, and I’m really okay with that.
But the rest of the holiday season, all the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve? That belongs to Jesus, and it’s all about the excitement of a coming Savior.
We spend our evenings preparing our hearts for the coming Savior by reading The Word, singing children’s songs about Biblical heroes, and praying together as a family. Allie, my younger daughter, talks about The Lord and His Son and what they mean to her, and the rest of us follow suit.
Even as my kids have gotten older, the Jesse Tree remains one of our favorite Advent traditions, practiced nightly after we’ve finished our family meal.
YOUR OWN JESSE TREE
If you try the Jesse Tree tradition, I am certain you will love it. If you can’t manage to do a family devotion every night, do 2 or 3 a week. The way the book is set up, you can just pull out the ones you want.
The key to a successful Jesse Tree isn’t how many times you do it during the month, and it isn’t even about the tree itself. It’s about preparing your heart for the coming of the Savior on Christmas Day. It’s about helping your children to fall in love with Jesus. It’s about loving Him yourself.
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