Friday, October 31, 2014

About Advent and Jesse Tree Ornaments

Our first Jesse Tree.

That, to the right, is our first Jesse Tree. We set it up with just a few ornaments on it and took a picture to see how it would look for posterity. Since we had never done one before, we wanted to make sure we had the right sort of branch. Did it have the right aesthetic? Were the branches sticking out the right way? That sort of thing.

What is Advent? Its literal meaning relates to the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also acknowledges His eventual return. In the Christian cultural context though, we celebrate it as a sort of countdown to Christmas. Advent has penetrated the mainstream culture through Advent calendars of many sorts, but its original intent has always focused on the Lord.

Jesse Tree ornaments are derived in name from Isaiah 11:1 -2 which states (NIV):

"There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord."

This is a direct reference to Jesus, who would be born almost a thousand years after Jesse's son (King) David passed away.

The tree stump, the first ornament in a twenty-five day activity.

And, this is why our Jesse Tree ornament set begins with a tree stump.

The ornaments are a way of tracing the people, places and stories in the Bible that are the most noteworthy and/or iconic; small stepping stones which relate the narrative in God's Word, culminating in the birth of his Son.

We hope that if you use a Jesse Tree ornament set, that it will be a means of passionately eyeing the real reason for Christmas: bringing your focus back to the Lord, in a time of year that can easily become so busy as to obscure why we celebrate it:

"I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."


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