Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Jesse Tree

One of our Christmas traditions is the Jesse Tree.  There are lots of pictures of Jesse Trees around the web - including downloadable pictures to cut out and stick onto a paper tree or pictures for children to colour, so if you haven't started one yet, it isn't too late.

I made ours a few years ago based on someone else's blog pictures, so its time that I posted pictures of ours.  I can't find the original blog that I based my pictures on.  If you know it, please add a comment with the link so that I can acknowledge the owner.

A Jesse Tree has a symbol for each day which is hung (or stuck) onto a tree.  Jesse was King David's father (from the old Testament), so it is named after him (Isaiah 11:1 "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit" NIV).  Through December, you read a short passage from the Bible each day, starting with the creation of the World and continuing through to the birth of Jesus, showing God's hand at work and His continual commitment to drawing us back to him.  Each passage has a symbol which is hung on the tree.  (You will find a better explanation elsewhere - this is just the very quick version.)

So ... here is a photo (from a few years ago) of our half completed tree mid December:

(The fluffy yellow thing near the top is not part of it - its a wool felt angel hanging on the wall.)

Now, I'm not going to write a tutorial, just a quick explanation incase you want to use this for ideas.  If you want more details let me know.

We made the stand out of dowel, but you could easily just use any small Christmas tree or a branch.  I put the symbols onto leaves.  They are all made of felt.  I just cut lots of leaves from felt with short brown strips to make loops for hanging.  The loop was inserted into the top of the leaf - which was two felt leaves joined together.  I machine stitched around the outside and added machine stitched veins.  Once I had a big pile of them, I added the pictures.  They are not sewn on, but just ironed on - cut from felt and applique backing, then put together and ironed.  So far they have held together well.

Here are some of the individual leaves.  Some of the Jesse Tree "plans" have just a few verses, some have devotional passages, but I prefer longer Bible readings that we chat about.

(Day 1:  Put up the branch and read Isaiah 11:  1-2)

Day 2:  Genesis 1:1-2:4

Day 3:  Genesis 2: 4-24

Day 4:  Genesis 3:  1-24

Day 5:  Genesis 6:5 - 9:17 (or choose shorter selections)

Okay, that's it for today.  I'll post pictures of more as soon as I have time!

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