The Jesse Tree

By Steven Koster

November 29, 2018

Our December theme for the Today devotions, written by Kurt Selles, is “The Jesse Tree.”

Many of us celebrate Advent with an Advent wreath, calendar, or any of a number of ways to countdown the days approaching Christmas. Children especially enjoy opening the doors of a calendar or lighting the candles of a wreath each day as they anticipate the nativity. But have you ever heard of a Jesse Tree?

A Jesse Tree uses biblical symbols and images on homemade ornaments to recount the story anticipating the birth of Jesus. Each day, we make or hang a new ornament that highlights another chapter from the biblical story which leads to the birth of our Savior. From Genesis to the Gospels, each symbol we hang on the Jesse Tree helps us remember that the story of the Bible—creation, fall, and redemption—moves forward in anticipation of Christ’s birth and sacrifice.

This month, our devotions will explore a new image every day, as we fill the tree with ornaments. We’ll see, for example, the stories of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and Mary, and explore the symbols of a rainbow, a crown, and a lily. To help in your family’s preparation for Christmas, we’ve created ornament artwork you can download to go along with each day’s devotions. We invite your family to hang these on your Christmas tree or create a special Jesse Tree to display the story.

We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the story of our Savior as we journey toward Christmas and display the many symbols of “The Jesse Tree.”

Our author, Kurt Selles, is Director of Back to God Ministries International, the parent organization of ReFrame Media, which is the ministry that brings you the Today devotional. He has been a missionary in China and Taiwan, and has taught Missions at Beeson Divinity School. He and his wife Vicki have three adult children.

As you read the Today devotions this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!

About the author — Steven Koster

Rev. Dr. Steven Koster joined Back to God Ministries International in 2006 and soon launched ReFrame Media with a fresh vision for media and technology to build disciples and communities in Christ. During his time as Director of ReFrame, he also served as the Executive Editor of Today. Steven stepped down from these roles in 2019 as he felt led to focus on new challenges, including doctoral research and their family’s bed and breakfast in Grand Rapids. He and his wife Deb have three adult children and enjoy leading pre-marital counseling and marriage enrichment seminars. Steven continues to collaborate with Deb to produce our marriage and family ministry, Family Fire.

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