Before my children were born, I taught third grade. During the month of December I gave each of my students a chance to share their favorite family Christmas tradition. One of the young men in my class shared about his family’s favorite tradition–The Jesse Tree. I had never heard of this before, but my student made quite an impression on me.
Most kids talked about Santa, presents, and treats…but the Jesse Tree was about Jesus.
When my daughter was born ten years ago, my husband and I started the discussion of creating our own family traditions at Christmas. We both agreed that making Christmas about Jesus and His birth was a BIG priority to us. We started praying, and searching for a way to help teach our children the TRUE meaning of Christmas. The Jesse Tree was the answer for us.
So, what is a Jesse Tree?
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD— and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
The Jesse Tree is a way of telling the story of God’s plan from the beginning of time to redeem His people by sending a Savior. It follows the lineage of Christ’s family and key people in the Old Testament that God uses to tell His story from Creation through Christ’s birth. It is a countdown daily to Christmas with the telling of a story, and an ornament that acts as a symbol and visual reminder of the story.
There are some beautiful devotionals and books available that tell the story of the Jesse Tree. As we started looking at what we would choose as a family, we had a hard time finding something specifically for young children. Children relate so much to the power of narrative-a story. That is when the idea for this devotional was born.
After two years of trying this and trying that my husband and I, along with some of our friends, created a devotional book for young children.
Along with writing the devotional, we moms all got together for an ornament exchange. Each mom in the exchange made 24 of the same ornaments and then met together to “swap.” We each came away with a unique, special, hand-made set of Jesse Tree ornaments. This proved to be so much fun, that we just kept doing it.
Thus, the Jesse Tree Project was born. This will be our family’s eighth year telling the story of Jesus through the Jesse Tree.
And we invite YOU into the joy of the Jesse Tree this season too!
If you are looking for a fun, creative way to make Christmas meaningful..
If you want to spend time together as a family intentionally growing in your faith…
And if you want to grow in your understanding of God’s love story from the beginning of time through His son…
Join hundreds of others families who are a part of The Jesse Tree Project!
You can do that in one of two ways:
Purchase the E-book with 24 family devotions from Creation through Christ’s birth along with printable ornaments…OR
Lead an Ornament Exchange and create a handmade, memorable set of 24 ornaments to share with your family.
Whether it’s your first time here or you already are a friend of the Jesse Tree Project, thank you for letting us share our ministry with you. Please let us know if you plan to join the Jesse Tree Project. We would love to pray for you and your family.