Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees

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.

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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.

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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.

Person Symbol Scripture Passage
Adam Male Figure Genesis 2:7
Eve Female Figure Genesis 2:21-23
Noah Rainbow Genesis 9:11-17
Abraham Tree Genesis 18:1
Sarah Tent Genesis 18:9-14
Isaac Ram Genesis 22:13-14
Rebekah Camel Genesis 24:63-67
Jacob Ladder Genesis 28:10-17
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
Ruth Straw Ruth 2:1-9
Jesse Branch Isaiah 11:1
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
Isaiah Throne Isaiah 6:1
Elizabeth Dove Luke 1:39-45
John the Baptist River Matthew 3:1-6
Mary Angel Luke 1:26-35
Jesus Manger Luke 2:1-7

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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

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Jesse Tree Project 2008WOW!!! Stunning ornaments, so creative! Just go enjoy this site, it’s gorgeous! Here are the related readings for Days 1 – 15 (other readings still to be posted)

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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.]

An Index to all their resources [archived version]

Jesse Tree Devotions (free, Excellent & comprehensive) [archived version]

An Online Jesse Tree Advent Calendar (free — also looks very good)  [archived version]

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The Christian Resources Institute All About Jesse Trees Page:

including: the story of the Jesse Tree

and Jesse Tree Scripture Readings

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Simple Mom.Com’s Jesse Tree page

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Catholic Culture.Com:

Making a Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree Symbols:

Jesse Tree Prayer Service:

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Faith Magazine’s (Roman Catholic diocese of Erie PA)

Jesse Tree page with three downloadable PDF files:

Jesse Tree reflections: (PDF); Small ornaments: (PDF); Large ornaments: (PDF)

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And SO Much more…:

Domestic Church / Fridge Art Jesse Tree page (with downloadable ornaments). Also an overview of the Jesse Tree symbols:

St Michael Online: Jesse Tree Overview & Ornaments

Short descriptions of traditional Jesse Tree symbols from EWTN:

Jesse Tree: Pictures to color (pdf)

Art History and the Jesse Tree

The Geneaology of Jesus: Online Advent Calendar:

The Glorious Coming — a 45 page downloadable e-book ($7.95) with devotions and ornaments

13 Responses to Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees

  1. Make sure you check out the comments at the Jesse Tree post at Simple Mom.Com — there are lots of great Jesse Tree ideas there

    http://simplemom.net/jesse-tree/

    In that comment thread for instance, is a link to a Jesse Tree blog with daily devotions for VERY Young children. You’ll see a picture of each ornament, and a few verses and a one-two line “devotional” for each day. Very nice.

    http://www.ourjessetree.blogspot.com/

  2. [...] More on Jesse Trees A follow-up to my previous compilation of Jesse Tree resources. [...]

  3. [...] Lots of Jesse tree links [...]

  4. [...] Jesse Tree links! Our “All About Jesse Trees” compilation of links to various resources has been a huge hit and has been far and away the [...]

  5. Georgy says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing these

  6. [...] 1.) Last year, I preached a sermon that featured a Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is an advent tradition that is being recovered in the US. You can read more about the history of the Jesse Tree as well as peruse a list of resources. [...]

  7. [...] to tell that story.   The symbols are standardized; I suggest you might want to look them up on a website which I have found [...]

  8. Wow! Awesome site you have here!…

    [...]Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees « Lent & Beyond[...]…

  9. sdasdasd says:

    you have to include the dates
    i didn’t get what dates those infos were for

  10. Cheap Christmas Ornaments…

    [...]Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees « Lent & Beyond[...]…

  11. [...] anglicanprayer.wordpress.com [...]

  12. […] All About Jesse Trees, and More about Jesse Trees […]

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