Every day, throughout December, we will be posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of the Jesse Tree ornaments that we have coloured in, or created from scratch. We’d love you to do the same, as we bring to life the characters who are part of Jesus’ family tree from Jesse through to David to Joseph and Mary! You can learn more by following the daily Colman readings for December, from page 1368 onwards in Celtic Daily Prayer – Book Two.
There are still some Jesse Tree ornament packs available from the online shop HERE, if you would prefer to start with a template.
For those of you who would want to join in, but are not able to get hold of the physical resource pack in time, we have created a time-limited download on the Community shop (available from 1st – 14th December) – available from HERE
The Jesse Tree readings are named after the depictions in stained glass or wood that have been used over many centuries to bring to life the characters who are part of Jesus’ family tree from Jesse through David to Joseph and Mary. In many homes and churches it has become an Advent custom to use a small tree branch as a Jesse Tree and hang it with pictures or ornaments representing the people, prophecies and stories which anticipated the coming of Christ.
Some churches have a special Jesse Tree service, during which the whole series of stories is recalled, and the ornaments added, one by one. At home it is probably more beneficial to take one reading, with its accompanying Scriptures, per day, adding the ornaments as you go through the month so that, rather like the pictures in an Advent calendar, more and more appear as Christmas approaches.
Some of the drawings and readings remind us of the people who make up Jesus’ family tree. Some instead are rich in prophetic significance, or mark the feasts of Stephen, the ‘holy innocents’ and John the beloved. They remind us of the covenant that Jesus, the promised Messiah, invites us all to enter into with Him.
The Jesse Tree can become a much-loved focal point during December that can offset and pre-empt the onset of an increasingly commercial and secularised Christmas. We hope these readings and ornaments will help you to share in this age-old practice and, by providing a focus for prayer and memory and a spur to the imagination, enrich your Advent as they take you on a journey through image and Scripture.