One popular Advent tradition is making a Jesse tree, which helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus’ birth. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent people, prophesies, and events that recall God’s promise and its fulfillment. With a focus on Old Testament figures, the Jesse tree is a particularly good activity for sixth graders studying salvation history. It’s also great for any junior high or older group wanting to review the story of God in the Old Testament, connecting the Advent season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history.
This Advent, bring the tradition of the Jesse tree to your parish with the help of our new PowerPoint presentation. Each slide in the presentation presents a brief meditation on a Jesse tree figure with a suggested ornament and Scripture citations. Most of the information in this presentation is excerpted from The Stories of the Old Testament: A Catholic’s Guide by Jim Campbell.
Use the slideshow alone or in conjunction with the online version at LoyolaPress.com.
Here are just a few ideas for how to use this slideshow in your setting:
- Reflect with the meditations in an Advent prayer service.
- Introduce salvation history material before studying the stories more closely in the Bible.
- Use it as inspiration for students to create their own artwork for a classroom or family Jesse tree.
- Invite parents to an evening learning about the Old Testament with the aid of the presentation.