assembly line banner

To change your logo go to the 'Page Master' under the 'Design' menu

Christian Resources for Worship in Schools

The Jesse Tree

Advent often gets squeezed out or overtaken by early Christmas celebrations but it’s an important time with strong themes of light and dark, of preparation and anticipation, of waiting and wondering. It should not be forgotten!

What is the Jesse Tree?

The Jesse Tree takes its name from a passage in the book of the prophet Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots."

The Jesse Tree illustrates the descent of the Messiah from Jesse of Bethlehem, through his son David. The Tree is often represented in art, particularly in that of the Medieval period. Many pictorial representations of the Jesse Tree show a symbolic tree or vine with spreading branches to represent the genealogy. The most typical form which the Jesse Tree takes is to show the figure of Jesse, often larger than all the rest, reclining or sleeping. From his side or navel springs the trunk of a tree or vine, with branches on either side. On the branches are figures representing the ancestors of Christ. The trunk ascends vertically to Mary and then Christ at the top.

The Christmas Rush
There is much pressure on people to rush into the Christmas celebrations early to the extent that Advent gets overlooked or ignored. Christmas decorations and music assuage those of Advent. Yet Advent is such a beautiful and important season, full of rich symbolism, sights, smells and sounds. It is a joyful time: a time of unfulfilled expectancy and anticipation. The Jesse Tree can be used to help address this situation. An evergreen tree (one that would be used as a Christmas Tree) could be erected in the sanctuary or some other appropriate area (or if in school in the main assembly hall or classroom) which, week by week (or day by day) is decorated with symbols representing the genealogy of the Jesse Tree. Perhaps the symbols could be glittered onto large purple Christmas baubles (and therefore keeping the Advent colour, or the symbols could be cut out from card and decorated. At Christmas this tree then becomes the Christmas Tree, adorned with the symbols of Christ’s birth, crowned with a Star and illuminated. You could also have a two dimensional tree on a board or wall, and symbols cut from card or paper and pasted on.
The symbols added to the tree day by day or week by week tell the story of our Salvation from the creation of the world to the coming of Jesus. Each symbol represents an important person or event in the life of God’s people. The story that will unfold over the weeks will tell of a God who, despite the weakness and waywardness of his people, constantly shows love, compassion and patience towards us.

Also Check Out

Advent Wreath
Blessed Virgin Mary
John the Baptist
Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree Resource from the Society of Our Lady of Penrhys

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player