Now that it's Advent, the Nodlings asked when we were going to put up our Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree draws out in readings and symbols the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus, who is of Jesse's line, while linking the Old and New Testaments.
The idea is to decorate a tree or picture of a tree with symbols from the Old Testament stories that illustrate the narrative of Salvation History and the coming of Christ. Christmas trees celebrate Christmas, but a Jesse tree celebrates Advent.
How better to celebrate the waiting associated with Advent?
Jesse was the father of King David. The Israelites begged God to give them a king after the pattern of the people whose territory they had conquered in the Promised Land. After the ruinous reign of King Saul, whom God rejected, the Lord raised up David, “a man after my own heart”. David’s united kingdom lasted only until the death of his son, Solomon. After that it was fractured and Israel and Judah were deported by foreign powers and the royal line seemingly broken. However, when God establishes a thing, it endures despite all other things. God promised Solomon in 2 Samuel 7 that his kingdom would last forever. Isaiah prophesied:
But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1,10)
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