our Jesse Tree creations act as the spine of all our Advent work. they provide the daily rhythm, the daily work that tunes our hearts. each day as i read the story aloud, the children cut and color an image from the story–the red cord of Rahab, the sheaf of wheat from Ruth and Boaz, the shell of John the Baptist. much like the stories read at the Easter Vigil, we wind our way through the Old Testament hearing all the great stories in the lineage of Jesus. this is a story with twists and turns and the unexpected motion of the Spirit.
we have used images from Paper Dali, and last year i discovered the (free!) printable images created by Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep. what i love about Nicole’s selection is her inclusion of women in the story–this is a birth story after all! women are central to the wok of God in the world, and it does me good to hear that each day. she also uses selections from Old Testament prophets that help situate the coming of the long-expected child.
we don’t make any ornaments by hand or create representations in felt. we just listen and color. and it is the most life giving practice.