The Jesse Tree

jesse_treeSeveral weeks ago, Pam and I posted an about a Children’s Advent Devotional. We had received something very similar many years ago while we were pastoring a Wesleyan church in Fort Edward, NY.  I wasn’t quite sure how all the symbolism fit together.

This morning Pam was looking for something – a world – and came across something on Pinterest.  Somehow we got talking about Chrismon trees.  One of our friends back in Staunton had given me a book about the symbols found on the Chrismon tree. This led to a conversation about the Jesse Tree and she mentioned that the devotional that we put together was based on the Jesse Tree.

“What is a Jesse Tree?” you may ask.  A Jesse Tree is a learning device, much like an Advent Calendar.  It helps countdown the days to Christmas, but also tells the story of God’s plan for his people.

The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.”  It is a vehicle to tell the Story of God in the Old Testament, and to connect the Advent Season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history. The Branch is a biblical sign of newness out of discouragement, which became a way to talk about the expected messiah (for example, Jer 23:5). It is therefore an appropriate symbol of Jesus the Christ, who is the revelation of the grace and faithfulness of God. [via CRI/Voice]

As I have researched this, there are many different ways you can do a Jesse Tree…imagination is the key.  The important thing is that we use this as a learning device.  Our plan is to make a Jesse Tree for our grandson and his new baby sister.  There are a myriad of resources available.  Here are just a few that I used:

  • CRI/Voice – Rev. Dennis Bratcher – there are a multitude of church year resources listed.  I’ve used several of his resources over the years.
  • Reformed Church of America – Lots of good Jesse Tree resources here.

Our table is now covered with Jesse Tree resources.  Pam and I are really excited about this. I hope you enjoy these resources.


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