Isaiah 11:1“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
As Pastor Eric shared this weekend in worship, people all over the world decorate trees to celebrate Christmas. Putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas decorating. I love the extra light that it adds to the dark winter days and deciding what ornaments to use is one of my favorite activities of the season.
The Jesse tree is a popular Advent tradition for Christians and is based around Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” The Jesse tree is a way to tell the story of Jesus’ family tree. Each day, a special ornament is placed on the tree as a reminder of the Bible story of the day. The stories start with creation in Genesis, on to Abraham, David, Isaiah, all the way through Jesus birth, the Hope of the world. My personal favorite Jesse tree advent devotion is Ann Voskamp’s, “The Greatest Gift”. Each day there is scripture and a short devotion to read, along with an activity and questions to reflect on. If you’re looking for a family Jesse tree devotion, the beautiful “Jesus Storybook Bible” is easy to use with children.
Using the Jesse tree as an Advent devotion is a daily reminder of the faithful people that God has used through history to build the lineage of a tiny baby, born a king in a humble manger, who would eventually die on a Tree.
“The small Babe of Bethlehem, the dismissed Son of God, the stripped and beaten Messiah hanging exposed on the Tree – He begs us to spend the attention of Advent on the little, the least, the lonely, the lost. Because in the rush, in the hurry, in our addiction to speed- it might just be a bit like stepping on the shoot that sprouts from the stump.” -Ann Voskamp
Gracious Father, Help us to not rush through the season, but instead to ponder, reflect and focus on the perfect Gift you sent us. Help us to remember the faithful and see the family line that led to Jesus. Thank you for sending us hope. Amen
Written by Julie Anderson
Julie Anderson is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She works part-time as Sheridan’s Children’s Music Coordinator where she is passionate about teaching children to use their musical gifts to praise God. Julie is married to Scott and counts her greatest honor as being mom to Adrienne, Eliot and Elise.