By Lisa Lickel
I introduced the Jesse Tree to my new church this year. The congregation will be involved in Advent by making and presenting the week’s ornaments and verses each Sunday.
What is a Jesse Tree? For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Jesse Tree is the story of Jesus’s family from Genesis through his birth. It’s a great way to make looking at less familiar Bible passages less scary for those who are a little nervous about reading it. December 6 this year, 2011, represents the tenth day in Advent. At our church, we’re up to Joshua and the Hebrews ready to enter to the Promised Land. The passage is from Joshua 2: 1-21, which tells the story of Rahab who, although not a Hebrew, was faithful to a God she had only heard about, and was rewarded by being an ancestor of Christ. The ornament for the day is a rope.
Background: The Israelites were ready to enter the land that God had promised them. They sent two men into the land to find out more about the land. Rahab hid the two men in her house and then helped them to escape when the king wanted to kill them. She knew that God had promised the city of Jericho to Joshua and the Israelites, and she believed that God is a powerful God. In return, the Israelites protected Rahab and her family. Rahab hung a red rope from the window in her house so that the Israelites would remember to protect her.
The readings of the Jesse Tree are written for the whole family. When my children were growing up, they looked forward to the morning ritual before school of getting the day’s ornament for the tree and reading the passage. I made them each a Jesse Tree of their own when they married. You can find out more about the Jesse Tree, find patterns and readings, on this web site: https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1602
From Lisa Lickel, author of A Summer in Oakville, with Shellie Neumeier