Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"A Daily Jesse Tree Devotion"

In case you're not following Full Homely Divinity's Advent Calendar, here's something else very interesting, also from FHD and its "Rediscovering Advent" page.  It's chock full of Biblical people and readings and themes and symbols, and very worth doing at home each day, I think - even if you don't have an actual Jesse Tree.  I believe these are the same Old Testament readings you find in the Advent Calendar, but for me the enumerations and additions make this even more rich and resonant - even though the readings from Revelation are not included here.
A Daily Jesse Tree Devotion

Leader: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. (Isaiah 11:1)

Hang an ornament on the Jesse Tree and sing:
O come, thou Branch of Jesse's stem, From every foe deliver them That trust thy mighty power to save, And give them vict'ry o'er the grave. Refrain:  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Read the Lesson for the day. Someone appointed may then give a brief reflection or explanation of the reading. Since one of the purposes of the Jesse Tree is to teach the history of salvation, it is especially important that children have an opportunity to learn more about the story and the symbol. Some Advent resource books provide questions for reflection.

Leader, or all together: Eternal Father, we thank you for all of the people who have been part of your plan of salvation from the very beginning of the world. As we remember all that you have done to prepare for our salvation, help us to be prepared to receive your Son Jesus Christ when he comes, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer may also be said and, if a meal is to follow, the usual grace before meals.

A Table of Suggested Lessons and Symbols for the Jesse Tree
The earliest Sunday on which Advent can begin is November 27th. When it begins later than that, either drop one or more of the starred (*) days, or double up as many days as are necessary. Always add Ruth to the tree on December 9th, and continue on from there to the end of Advent.

Day Person Theme Reading Symbol
First Sunday of Advent
Jesse Tree Isaiah 11:1-3 Tree
Creation Genesis 1:1-3, 26-31 Sun and Moon
Tuesday Adam & Eve Sin Genesis 3:1-24 Apple & Snake
Wednesday Noah The Flood Genesis 6:11-19; 7:11-12; 8:6-11 Ark or Dove & Olive Branch
Thursday Abraham The Promise Genesis 12:1-7 Tent & Camel or Field of Stars
Friday Isaac Sacrifice of Isaac Genesis 22:1-14 Altar & Ram
* Jacob Jacob's Dream Genesis 28:10-22 Ladder
* Joseph God's Providence Genesis 37:1-28; 45:1-11 Joseph's Coat
* Moses God Calls Moses Exodus 3:1-14 Burning Bush
* Balaam God Blesses his People Numbers 22:4-6, 21-35; 24:1-2, 15-17 Donkey
* Joshua The Fall of Jericho Joshua 2:1, 8-18; 6:1-5, 15-17 Ram's Horn Trumpet or City Wall with Scarlet Cord
* Gideon Victory against Odds Judges 7:1-21 Clay Pitcher
December 9 Ruth Foreign Ancestress Ruth 1:1-18; 3:1-9; 4:13-17 Sheaf of Wheat
December 10 Jesse Root of the Family Tree 1 Samuel 16:1-13 Tree Stump with New Shoot
December 11 David Shepherd King 2 Samuel 5:1-12 Shepherd's Crook
December 12 Nathan A Royal House 2 Samuel 7:1-17 Prophet's Scroll
December 13 Solomon Wisdom on the Throne 1 Kings 3:3-15 Crown
December 14 Elijah Rejecting False Gods 1 Kings 18:17-39 Altar and Lightning
December 15 Isaiah Prophet of the Advent Isaiah 6:1-11 Advent Rose or Throne
December 16 Hezekiah A Faithful King 1 Kings 18:1-8 Broken Idol
December 17 Jeremiah A New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31-34 Heart
December 18 Haggai Splendor Renewed Haggai 2:1-9 Temple
December 19 Habakkuk Watchfulness Habakkuk 2:1-4 Watchtower
December 20 Micah A Ruler from Bethlehem Micah 5:2-4 Town of Bethlehem
December 21 John the Baptist Forerunner of the Messiah Luke 3:1-17 Dove Descending to Water
December 22 Gabriel The Annunciation Luke 1:26-38 Angel or Lily
December 23 Joseph Trusting God's Plan Matthew 1:18-24 Carpenter's Tools
December 24 (morning) Mary Mother of God Luke 1:46-55 Lily or MARIA Monogram
Christmas Eve Jesus Christ Christ is Born Luke 2:1-20 Manger
Christmas Day Emmanuel The Word Made Flesh John 1:1-18 Chi Rho Monogram

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