Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree

The Jesse tree gets its name from a prediction made by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah describing the rise of a great, new Jewish leader as "a branch" growing "from the stock of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:1). In reference to this prophecy, medieval artists frequently painted portraits of Jesus and his ancestors on the limbs of a tree, with Jesus at its crown and Jesse at its root. This image was called a "Jesse tree." The identity of Jesus'ancestors played an important role in establishing his identity as the Messiah. In recognition of this fact, both Gospel Nativity stories included an account of Jesus' genealogy. Chapter one of the Gospel according to Matthew, which directly precedes Matthew's account of Christ's birth, begins by listing Jesus' ancestors. The Gospel according to Luke (3:23-38) offers a slightly different account of Jesus'ancestry (see also Gospel Accounts of Christmas).

The Jesse tree has long served as a symbol of Jesus' ancestry in Christian art. In recent times, however, people have begun to use the image of the Jesse tree to adapt the modern Christmas tree to specifically Christian ends. Ornaments representing events in the lives of Jesus'ancestors are hung on an evergreen tree or tree branch. Some people add symbols for other biblical figures and events as well. For example, Moses may be represented by stone tablets, David by a six-pointed star, Jonah by a whale, and Judith by a sword. Decorated this way, the evergreen becomes a living Jesse tree.

Further Reading

Augustine, Peg, comp. Come to Christmas. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1993. Metcalfe, Edna. The Trees of Christmas. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1969.
Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year's Celebrations, 2nd ed. © Omnigraphics, Inc. 2003
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THE Jesse Tree of Abergavenny: The 15th-century Tree of Jesse is a reclining figure made from a single piece of oak which somehow made its way through the Protestant Reformation.
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Taking part in the Jesse Tree and the Giving Tree, where parishioners select people in need for whom they prepare gifts.
Told from the point of a view of a child, "Look!: A Child's Guide to Advent and Christmas" weaves together familiar Advent traditions like the Jesse tree and the Advent wreath, biblical stories and characters, and reflections on what these stories call us to do and be.
The same mysterious blend is found elsewhere in the Abbey in its surviving mediaeval Jesse Tree window.
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MAKE A JESSE TREE JUST GOOGLE" MAKING A JESSE TREE" AND TONS OF RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE.
Every evening in Advent, in the soft candlelight, we read the life of that day's saint and pin a cut-paper image, crayoned by one of the kids, up onto the wall, marshalling our "saints' parade." Then we read from the Bible, each day moving forward through salvation history from creation to the birth in Bethlehem, and hang a symbol from the reading on our so-called Jesse Tree: first, a blue-and-green Earth for creation, then an Adam and Eve, then an apple for the fall from paradise, and eventually, on Christmas morning, the babe himself.
The Jesse tree is an evergreen sign of God's ability to sprout a new divine dream after it has been cut back and apparently destroyed.
The Lenten Tree, a book of Easter devotions by Hattiesburg native Dean Meador Smith, is the follow-up to Smith's successful Christmas book, The Advent Jesse Tree. This collection of scripture, stories, prayers, hymns, and even Easter recipes begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and walks the reader through all 40 days, culminating in the Resurrection of Christ.
"The Jesse Tree in the 1432 London Entry of Henry VI: Messianic Kingship and the Rule of Justice.