Wednesday, December 5, 2007

our virtual Jesse tree

This year I'm finally getting around to doing something with the kids I've been planning for years: a Jesse tree in the days leading up to Christmas. A Jesse tree is similar to an advent calendar, except instead of a Christmas picture and a chocolate, every day we read a Bible passage and the kids get a lolly to make it fun (leading to lots of seasonal peace and joy on earth: "I want the strawberry lolly!" "No, I want strawberry!" "But I don't like pineapple!")

You're also supposed to hang up appropriately themed Christmas decorations to go with each Bible passage, but I haven't got that far. Instead, I created a virtual Jesse tree, courtesy of facebook: every day a growing gift or hatching egg appears on my profile, accompanied with a Bible verse and a passage to read out. Have a look at my facebook profile and click on the eggs and growing gifts if you want to see the themes and verses.

We started on December 1st with the story of creation, and how God made the world through Jesus, accompanied with a picture of a frog on a Christmas ball (well, frogs were part of creation, weren't they?)

Day 2 brought the story of the first sin, and a growing gift of caramel apples (yes, I know the forbidden fruit wasn't an apple, but you try finding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on facebook).

On the 3rd day we hatched a dove from an egg, read the story of the flood, and talked about how Jesus saves us from God's judgement.

Day 4 brought a sunflower with a baby's face, and the story of baby Isaac. We read out God's promise of people, land and blessing to Abram, and talked about how these were fulfilled in Jesus.

We're having a lot of fun, and hopefully the kids are becoming familiar with some Biblical theology, as well as earning a free trip to the dentist. I'm trying to teach them how God's saving plan through history leads to Jesus, and how he is the fulfilment of all God's promises.

One of these days I would like to create my own version of the Jesse tree, with a story from Biblical theology and a relevant description of Christ (good shepherd, the lamb of God, the suffering servant) every day. If I ever get around to it, and if I'm still blogging, I will post it here so you can read it. Until then, our virtual Jesse tree will have to do.

Lots of versions of the Jesse tree are available on line, but some are a little odd, so check the Bible references carefully. Until I create my own, we are taking ours from Kent and Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a godly family, pp.162-88.

No comments: