This year I hope to share the daily devotional I had been working on for my family last year. This is how I used my study time last December, by reading over and preparing a short devotional for advent. Each day leading up to Christmas we would read together, then clip a symbol on a line to represent what we learned, and end with a time of prayer. I did not get every day done, nor were we always able to sit down and eat together, but we gave it an honest effort!
The Jesse Tree is a little different from some Christmas count downs, and completely focused on Christ’s coming. I won’t pretend that we don’t fully participate in the secular Christmas… I think that would be impossible with an 8 ft Santa Claus on our roof! We do have fun, and join in the sparkle of bright lights and make believe. I also do not claim to be a Bible teacher, so if something seems off in what I have shared – I urge you to study the word of God for yourself, ask questions and prayerfully weigh what I have written with the knowledge God has given to you.
I found these symbols on a site called “Teachers Pay Teachers,” they are the cutest felt pictures. The colour and details are fantastic on each one – bright and super cute! We use 24, and start on the 1st of December. Some people start their Jesse tree based on Advent Sundays, but I am confused as we are not Catholic or Anglican so the four Sundays do not hold special meaning (tried last year and ended up confused), we simply start on the 1st and go until the 24th.
So without further chit chat, here is the first devotional. I hope you find it helpful or that it gives you starting off place to create your own! I would love to hear about your traditions, and other ideas you use to help keep the focus on Christ throughout December. Happy Holidays!
Jesse Tree Devotional Day One (Tree Symbol)
Isaiah 11:1-3 “Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will rest on Him – a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.”
The Jesse Tree Advent is what we will use as a count down to Christmas day. There are many fun Christmasy things we participate in throughout the season, but the family devotional we read together each night will help us focus on the real reason we choose to celebrate Christmas. Our first symbol is a tree, and we will use this tree to represent “The Jesse Tree”.
From the beginning God has promised He would send someone to save the world from sin. God planned a way for us to be united with Him in heaven through the coming of His Son. Isaiah 11 is a prophecy written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. At that time the Jewish people did not know exactly who God had planned to send. They had hopes and dreams of who it may be, although they were unsure of how they would know it was truly their God promised Saviour.
Isaiah 11 has been used in part (with others) as the proof needed to claim Jesus as “The Anointed One” sent from God. There are many other prophecies Jesus has fulfilled from the Old Testament, and we will learn of some as we go along on our journey to Christmas Day. Jesse was the father of King David, because Jesus is a decedent in a line traced back to King David we can link this prophecy to refer to Jesus. God knew right from beginning who would make up Jesus’ family tree and He shared that knowledge through prophecy as a sure sign to all He was keeping His promise.
What is a family tree?
Who are some important members of our family tree?
Let’s pray together now and thank God for everyone special to us in our family tree. We should also take the time to thank Him for keeping His promises and sending His Son Jesus. Ask God to help us as we remember to focus on Him while having lots of fun this Christmas.