This year I’m trying to focus on providing a lot more Advent family resources and craft ideas, etc. One obvious possibility is to make a Jesse Tree. Here are some of the Jesse Tree resources I’ve found online. Several of them are truly EXCELLENT. Take some time to check them out.
Dec. 1 Update: I’ve found two more great Jesse Tree links, including a drop dead gorgeous felt Jesse Tree banner! See our “More About Jesse Trees” post. Note: I’ve also provided alternate links for one of the excellent Jesse Tree sites below whose page seems to have crashed. The archived links are working.
It’s hard to choose what order to post resources in. There are so many good ones. Let’s start with an excellent overview of Jesse Trees with ornament patterns and daily Scriptures from an Advent resources page produced by King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia since it is (sadly) the only explicitly Episcopal/Anglican resource I’ve listed in this post. (Solid Episcopal / Anglican resources are hard to find. There are many more Catholic sites, and even quite a few excellent Reformed Church Advent sites!)
A Jesse Tree
The 11th chapter of Isaiah describes the ideal king in the line of Israel’s great king, David. The first verse of that chapter says,
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
Jesse was King David’s father. The image of a branch growing out of the roots of Jesse points to a new king in David’s line. Christians know that this is fulfilled in Jesus, the King of Kings, who is a descendent of Jesse. One tradition is to decorate a tree branch with symbols that remember other important persons from the Old Testament. The symbols on the “Jesse Tree” remind us that our belief grows out of deep roots of thousands of years of ancestors in the faith.
One way to create a Jesse Tree is to place a suitable tree branch in a large tin can (such as a coffee can) and anchor it with rocks. Then create the symbols on construction paper. Punch a hole in the paper ornament with a hole punch. Then attach the ornament to the tree branch with yarn. Creating a Jesse Tree can be connected to an Advent wreath service by adding a new ornament each evening at the time of the service.
Symbols for the Jesse Tree draw from images in the Old Testament. Possible symbols and their scripture references are on the following page.
Jesse Tree Ornaments Online
Below are six pages of Jesse Tree ornaments for you to print and use. Each page contains four of the designs listed below for kids to color and decorate with glitter or cotton balls glued to the ornament. Copy the designs to your computer. Print the designs on card stock. Cut each page into four ornaments and you’ll have patterns for two-dozen Jesse Tree ornaments. We give permission for any non-commercial use of the designs.The files are 300dpi Bitmap (.BMP) files. You will have to be patient to download them all. I have included 75 dpi versions as .GIF files if you want to take a quick look, but they are not suitable for printing and decorating.
Page 1 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse1.bmp) (jesse1.gif)
Page 2 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse2.bmp) (jesse2.gif)
Page 3 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse3.bmp) (jesse3.gif)
Page 4 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse4.bmp) (jesse4.gif)
Page 5 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse5.bmp) (jesse5.gif)
Page 6 of Jesse Tree Ornaments (jesse6.bmp) (jesse6.gif)
Jesse Tree Symbol Suggestions for Creating Your Own Ornaments
The following list gives 25 suggestions for symbols to use in decorating a Jesse Tree along with the scripture references for the symbol. These 25 symbols would allow a new ornament to be added to the tree each day in December leading up to Christmas.
|Adam||Male Figure||Genesis 2:7|
|Eve||Female Figure||Genesis 2:21-23|
|Rachel||Shepherd’s Crook||Genesis 29:9-12|
|Joseph||Colorful Coat||Genesis 37:3|
|Moses||Burning Bush||Exodus 3:1-6|
|Miriam||Music Notes||Exodus 15:20-21|
|Deborah||Palm Tree||Judges 4:4-5|
|Samuel||Lamp||1 Samuel 3:1-3|
|David||Harp||1 Samuel 16:17-18|
|Solomon||Columns||1 Kings 5:2-5|
|Hezekiah||Tablets of the Law||2 Kings 18:1-6|
|Josiah||Book||2 Kings 23:1-3|
|John the Baptist||River||Matthew 3:1-6|
Now for LOTS of other Jesse Tree resources
From the Reformed Church in America:
Highly recommended! Daily Jesse Tree family devotions: A Scripture verse and symbol for each day of Advent. Updated for 2008. Excellent! Instructions for making a Jesse Tree and Jesse Tree ornament symbols & patterns
The Jesse Tree Resources here are also available IN SPANISH
Jesse-Trees.Com — isn’t the internet amazing. A website devoted JUST to Jesse Trees! There’s a mix here of free resources and items you can download for a cost. VERY COOL, check it out!
[Update: Dec 1, 2008 -- these three links below seem to be broken, which is a shame because this was a GREAT resource. The internet archive of this site is still accessible however. I've put those links in brackets. They are working fine for me today.]
The Christian Resources Institute All About Jesse Trees Page:
including: the story of the Jesse Tree
Simple Mom.Com’s Jesse Tree page
Faith Magazine’s (Roman Catholic diocese of Erie PA)
Jesse Tree page with three downloadable PDF files:
And SO Much more…:
Short descriptions of traditional Jesse Tree symbols from EWTN:
The Glorious Coming — a 45 page downloadable e-book ($7.95) with devotions and ornaments