A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” vs. 1Isaiah 11:1-4
In some homes, a Jesse tree has appeared in the family room right alongside the Christmas trees. Usually Jesse trees are not impressive in themselves; they’re just large dead branches stuck in some sort of non-descript container. They’re not at all like Christmas trees, but they are meant to be decorated. Each day during Advent some sort of symbol is tied to its limbs–the items are meant to be reminders of the scriptural story from creation to the birth of Jesus. The ornaments can be plastic or paper–there are all kinds of guides on the internet to help. By the time Christmas arrives the tree will be full and the family ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Sometimes families have a ritual each evening as the ornament is hung–it could be a story or a bible verse along with a prayer. While Jesse trees haven’t been around very long, it’s a worthy tradition, particularly in those families who are interested in giving meaning to the season of Advent. It’s a daily reminder that Christmas requires a waiting period, a time of reflection and anticipation. Isaiah was anticipating that one day there would be a new king, one who would rule in an entirely different way, and we see in his words a description of Jesus, the one on whom the Spirit rested in full. In our Advent waiting we pray that the same Spirit would rest with us daily.
Thought for the Day: What Advent rituals has my family used?