Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jesse Tree: our advent journey

This year, we are doing a Jesse Tree to observe the advent and prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. In the past, we decided to celebrate advent Sundays, which has been a wonderful tradition that I grew up with (one of the only religious memories of my childhood). Each day, we read a passage and hang an ornament on our tree. Each day, the devotional takes us closer to the birth of our Savior and connects the dots in the Old Testament. We learn about the people that are the most unlikely candidates to become the lineage to Jesus. God uses the outcast, the rejected and the "least of these" to accomplish His mission. We find tremendous comfort in this.

There are many books, kits and ways to do the Jesse Tree journey. We chose the FREE option, since we are on "adoption budget" right now. I simply printed the symbols for each day, glued them onto construction paper and found a simple way to hang them onto our tree. Some people use a separate tree to hang the symbols, but I actually like the fact that the Jesse tree is a part of our family tree. The symbols are scattered around the ornaments from our family trips and even my Santa ornaments. Yes, we are crazy like that ;)

We chose our devotionals to be appropriate for kids, but also have enough substance for us grown ups. Today we read about God's provisions and it spoke to me deeply. Great conversations spin off our devotionals. And more than anything, it is a time to quiet down, pray together and focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

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