Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Our First Annual Jesse Tree!

See that there tree on the left? In just 23 short days, it will tell the history of Jesus' family tree dating back to Jesse! I read about the "Jesse Tree" over at Rocks in My Dryer last year and decided that we were going to make one this year.

Naturally, I got a late start on the planning (iow=I forgot), and consequently spent yesterday running all over town looking for a Jesse Tree Devotional Guide to lead me through this project. But alas there were none to be found...sigh. So, I used this guide that Shannon mentions in her post and proceeded to try and adapt it for our family. I discovered in all my research that there are different versions of the Jesse Tree, but I just went with this one because it was available! :)

I have decided to post the lessons that I wrote (again based on this guide) for the kids. [Feel free to use them if you like!] My plan was to have the 13 year old do the scripture readings, so I used the NASB version because that is what we use for their schoolwork. Then I had a small section for Maddie to read, and another for Jon. [I printed each child's section in a different font to make it easier for them to know what to read.] This particular guide begins on the first Sunday of Advent (day before yesterday), but since we just got started today, we did the first two lessons today, we'll do two more tomorrow, and then we'll be back on track for the rest of the lessons. :) As far as the tree decorations are concerned, I found what I could pre-made, and bought supplies for the kids to make the rest. I bought some supplies that are better suited for Benji to use, different things for Jon, and some things that Maddie will love doing. Therefore, each child is responsible to make certain ornaments, but not every child will help with each ornament...make sense? I'm also including little notes on who read what...in case you care. ;) Okay...Lesson 1!
Day One

Isaiah 11:1-2 (New American Standard Bible)

Isaiah 11

{Read by 7th grader}

Righteous Reign of the Branch

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

{Read by 2nd grader} Nothing surprises God. God has a plan for everything…before it even happens. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, there lived a man named Jesse. Jesse had seven sons. His youngest son was David who would grow up to be the king of Israel. Even before David, or even Jesse was born, God had a plan for both of them.

{Read by 5th grader}God’s plan for Jesse didn’t end when his son, David, became the king of Israel. Jesus was also part of Jesse’s family tree. He was born many years after David, but He is still a part of their family. God promised His people that He would send them a savior, but David was not that savior, Jesus was. The people of Israel had to wait a very, very long time for the savior to be born. The season we call “Advent” is a time of waiting. During these weeks before Christmas, we are all waiting too.

{Read by mom} It’s not easy to be patient. Waiting for something special can seem very hard sometimes, but God wants us to learn to be patient and to trust God. God says that He has a plan for our lives also, and we must believe that and be patient while we wait for all that God has for us.

[Then we let everyone discuss things that they are waiting for and how difficult it is to be patient.]

(Then we prayed for patience as we wait for the things we are anticipating.)

*Hang pinecone ornament on the tree. (I found this pinecone ornament with a green sprig coming out of the top, and I thought it would work beautifully to represent the scripture verse.)

Genesis 1:26-31 (New American Standard Bible) {Read by 7th Grader}

26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

{Read by 2nd grader} God created everything. He made the whole world and everything in it. He made the oceans and the mountains. He made the birds and the fish. He made the dinosaurs and the bugs. He made all the people. He made you, and He made me. When God first created the world it was perfect. When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect too. They never did anything to make God unhappy and there was no sin in them.

{Read by 5th grader} Even though Adam and Eve did eventually sin and now the world and the people are not perfect anymore, God still loves us, and He still cares for the world that He created. Adam was in charge of taking care of God’s creation and even got to name all of the animals. God still wants us to take care of His creation and be kind to all of His creatures.

{Read by mom} The earth is God’s gift to us. Even though it is now full of sin and sadness, God still wants us to take care of it and to treat it with care.

[let everyone discuss ways to take care of both the earth and all the gifts God has given us: toys, clothes, house, food, etc. Talk about caring for and not wasting all that we have been given.]

(pray for help in being good stewards of both God's creation, and His gifts in our lives)

*Hang earth ornament on the tree. (This one was made by Jonathan using sticky-back foam. I helped if he asked, and let him do everything he wanted to on his own, even choosing the colors -- notice Antarctica is white while all other continents are green) :)

So those were our first two lessons. Doing two was a bit too long for everyone, but I think they are enjoying it and hopefully will look forward to it every year from now on!

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