this christmas season, we didn't light our advent candles like we have the past few years. we decided to do a jesse tree. i've actually never heard of a jesse tree before this year. i don't know if it was the new trendy thing to do or not (or i'm just way out of the loop... which is entirely possible), but it seemed like we were hearing about it everywhere all the sudden. we got curious, googled it, and decided to start a new family tradition.
the jesse tree starts on december first (like an advent calendar) and each day you read a bible story, starting at creation leading all the way up to Christ. it gives you a chance to look at not just the christmas story, but the whole story of God providing for, loving, and saving His people. if you don't know the whole story, the christmas story doesn't make too much sense.
ideally, you have a little ornament to symbolize each story and hang it on a little christmas tree, but, in true wade family fashion, we decided to give the jesse tree a whirl on the evening of november 30th. so we didn't have a tree and ornaments. what we did have was construction paper, scissors, glue, colored pencils, and a bare wall. this was the result:
i think it came out pretty well!
i know christmas is over and done with for 2010, but you can find more information about the jesse tree and see the list of stories here if you're interested for next year. we actually tweaked the story list a little bit, and i'm sure we'll continue to tweak it throughout the years (one year you could focus on prophecy, the next on God's provision, etc. this year we focused on salvation, the prophets, and God's promises collectively), but i wanted to share our list of stories with you.
1. Creation~Genesis 1:1-2:3
2. The Fall~ Gen. 2:4-3:13 (promise of salvation)
3. Noah's Ark~Gen. 6:11-9:17 (promise)
4. Abraham~Gen. 12:1-15:6 (promise)
5. Isaac~ Gen. 22:1-19 (promise, salvation)
6. Jacob and Esau~ Gen. 25:23 (promise)
7. Joseph~Gen. 37-46 (salvation)
8. Moses~Exodus 1-11 (salvation)
9. The First Passover~Ex. 12:1-14:31 (salvation)
10. The Ten Commandments~Ex. 19:1-20:20
11. The Snake on the Cross~Ex. 21 (salvation)
12. Gideon~ Judges 2:6-8:28 (salvation)
13. Samuel~ 1 Samuel 1 (prophet)
14. David~ 1 Sam. 16:1-17:58, 2 Sam. 5:1-7:17
15. Solomon's Temple~ 1 Kings 5-7 (promise)
16. Elisha and the Widow~ 2 Kings 4 (prophet)
17. Jonah~ Jonah (prophet)
18. The Suffering Servant~ Isaiah 53:4-5 (prophet, promise, salvation)
19. Anticipation~Luke 1:57-80 (promise)
20. Mary and Gabriel~Luke 2:1-20 (promise)
21. Bethlehem~ Micah 5:2 (prophet)
22. Shepherds~Luke 2:1-20
23. Wisemen~Matthew 2
24. The Birth of Jesus~ Luke 2:1-20 (promise, salvation)
25. The Son of God~ John 1:1-18 (promise, salvation)
a lot of these passages are pretty long, way too long for our little ones, so most of the stories we read out of their children's bible. they really enjoyed taking turns taping the ornaments up and they were really absorbing the stories. i'll be honest, we grown-ups learned a lot, too. i'm already looking forward to how it'll work out next year! hope everyone had a wonderful christmas!